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They knew each other well, the Captain and his wife. They had in common a certain way of life, an order of priorities and concerns. Their shared experience of death when they were young had drawn them close and in their marriage had made precious for them the sense of family that the birth of a child allowed. Heloise had once assumed that other children would be born to her, and still had not abandoned hope that one more at least might be. But in the meanwhile she was so convincingly persuaded by her husband that the lack of a son to inherit Lahardane was not a failure on her part that she experienced – and more and more as her only child grew up – gratitude for the solitary birth and for a trinity sustained by affection.

because there is no fullstop after "experienced" can we write the sentence like this:

...that she experienced gratitude for the solitary birth and for a trinity sustained by?

but again it does not make sense to me. Could you write it in other words?

Does "affection" here means: kindness

can we write the sentence like this:

...as she experienced only by affection she could confirm her gratitude for the solitary birth and for a trinity?

Source: The Story Of Lucy Gault by William Trever.

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she experienced – and more and more as her only child grew up – gratitude for the solitary birth and for a trinity sustained by affection.

Means that she was grateful for having had a child, and for having a family of three (which is what "trinity" is used to mean here) joined by love.

"affection" here means "love" or at least linking". "fondness" could also be used. "it also suggests the concrete gestures by which fondness or love is shown, rather than a hidden emotion.

It is not clear if this means that she felt gratitude for having had at least one child, or for not having had more than one. The phrase "gratitude for the solitary birth" could be taken either way, but I think it means gratitude for having had at least one child, as opposed to a possible resentment at not having had more children.

The parenthetical "and more and more as her only child grew up" merely means that the feelign grew stronger in Heloise as the child aged.

The suggested sentence:

...as she experienced only by affection she could confirm her gratitude for the solitary birth and for a trinity?

is not good English, and does not closely correspond to the meaning of the bold sentence in the quotation.

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  • Lots of thanks, so can we say: it was not her failure because she was Means that she was grateful for having had a child, and for having a family of three joined by love? Dec 8, 2020 at 7:10
  • @Viser Hashemi Close but mnot quite. She realized tjhat not having more children was not her fault. Therefore she weas able to be greatful for the child she did have, and for the love that joined her family.
    – David Siegel
    Dec 8, 2020 at 14:17
  • If the answer gives what you wanted from the question, you can accept it. If it is helpful, you can upvote it.
    – David Siegel
    Dec 8, 2020 at 21:19

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