“In the summer of 1956, Stevens, a long-serving butler at Darlington Hall, decides to take a motoring trip through the West Country. The six-day excursion becomes a journey into the past of Stevens and England, a past that takes in fascism, two world wars, and an unrealised love between the butler and his housekeeper.” -taken from Goodreads.com
Told from the perspective of Stevens, the Remains of the Day explores a career of utter devotion. As he frequently mentions, the man finds dignity in his work as a butler, taking great pride in following orders to the letter. As his recount unfolds, however, it becomes clear that not all is as he would have the reader believe; the integrity and past of the Lord he faithfully serves are called into question, forcing Stevens to awkwardly come to his defense. Meaningful personal relationships are also tested and lost over the years as the weight of Stevens’ perceived requirements of duty come to bear. Filled with one of the finest narrative voices I’ve yet to read, the Remains of the Day is highly recommended.
“What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one’s life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and I at least try to make our small contribution count for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.” -Stevens
Thanks for reading!