‘‘All the Years of Her Life’’ is a short story by Canadian writer Morley Callaghan. It was published in his second collection of short stories, Now That April’s Here and Other Stories (New York, 1936). ‘‘All the Years of Her Life’’ is a straightforward story with only three characters, written in an economical, unpretentious style typical of Callaghan’s work. A young man, Alfred Higgins, is caught by his employer, Sam Carr, pilfering items from the drugstore where he works. Instead of immediately calling the police, Mr. Carr sends for Alfred’s mother. The story focuses on Mrs. Higgins’s psychological state, which by the end of the story turns out to be quite different from how it first appears. When Alfred observes this change in his mother, he has a moment of insight in which he understands something about her he never before noticed. In just a few pages, Callaghan manages to tell a moving story of a mother’s devotion to her wayward son and the son’s sudden acquisition of a new maturity. The story ends on a note of quiet hope.
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