REVIEW: The Remains of the Day
This short novel follows Stevens as he crosses the English countryside for six days in the guise of recruiting a former housekeeper to return to Darlington Hall, where they were formerly colleagues. Along the way, he muses about his lifelong career and the choices he made, and wondering if things might have turned out differently.
Stevens is an old school English butler who has spent his career aspiring to be a "great" butler. In order to achieve this, he has designed strict rules of comportment that he must follow at all times, at the expense of showing emotion and connecting with other people on a personal level. Stevens is not an altogether reliable narrator, so it takes a while to piece together the truth of his lonely existence. He goes to great lengths to convince the reader (and himself) that his four decades of service to a distinguished household has been worth the sacrifice of human warmth.
Thank you Faber & Faber for this copy of one of my favourite novels. This was a reread for me, and I enjoyed it even more the second time.
The Remains of the Day
published April 2021 by Faber & Faber