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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
A Trophy Life is a short work of fiction by Robert E. Kearns. It opens in England where a retired company executive named Allister comes upon a trophy that has been discarded near a dumpster. Allister takes the trophy home and cleans it up, noticing the name Edward McEvoy on it. He falls asleep and has a dream about Edward’s life which, though recently ended in his childless and widowed old age in Kent, had its beginnings in Ireland where the descendants of Edward’s extended family still reside. Though Allister has never been to Ireland, he’s strangely compelled to take the trophy to Edward’s family there. Will Allister’s fascination with the trophy inspire him in other ways as well?
In A Trophy Life, Robert E. Kearns gives us an intriguing story about two men who share an interesting point: Edward’s deliberate shift over the years from Irishness to Englishness and Allister’s sudden and surprising shift in the opposite direction. The narrative is descriptive and moves at a good pace, unveiling the plot engagingly. It doesn’t feel like a short story at all. Allister and Edward are well-drawn and believable characters. They might be any elderly man living alone in the house next door or a neighbor you wave to, but about whose life you know little. Even the trophy’s mystical effect on Allister is utterly believable. An entertaining read and one which might make you think twice the next time you see an old trophy beside a dumpster.