William Trevor’s The Piano Tuner’s Wives is an emotional story that is well written and finds creative ways to connect two different time in the titular piano tuner’s life.

The story follows Owen Dromgould, a blind piano tuner, who after his wife Violet dies, marries a woman from his past, Belle. She feels that Violet had stolen Dromgould away from her and as she drives him around to tune pianos, and to go on vacation, we learn that Violet had become Dromgould’s eyes and everything he says reminds him and his new wife of her. This amplifies the jealously that Belle feels and leads to her lying to Dromgould, trying to replace the visions Violet had given him with her own.

Trevor plays with the idea of time and shows the reader the parallels between the two wives, including their wedding days. Dromgould married Violet on “June 7th” and Belle in “the depth of summer” (Trevor 412). The ladies differ in looks as Belle was “more beautiful-and younger by … five years” (412) then Violet, but this does not matter to Dromgould who is blind and does not care for looks. As stated, “Belle would win in the end … the living always do … Violet had won in the beginning and had had the better years.” (420). I recommend this story, because while it is a short story, it tells a realistic story that has the reader feeling sympathetic for the piano tuner and his wives.


Works Cited: Trevor, William. “The Piano Tuner’s Wives.” Short Fiction: An Anthology. Second Edition, edited by Mark Levene and Rosemary Sullivan, Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 412–420.