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.

Dose it mean: having only one child was right and good in their family?

Source: The Story of Lucy Gault by William trevor

2 Answers 2


It says sense of family. The child gave them the feeling, the awareness, the conscience that now they are a family. You could also understand that the birth of their child gave them a purpose to (continue to) exist as a family.


The arrival of their first child had changed them from a couple into a family.

  • many thanks, can we say the whole sentence mean: having a child to make a family was really valuable for them because of their shared experience of death? Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 9:22
  • I haven't read the book so I don't know the background of the characters, but if they had both lost close family members when they were young, it could well mean that. Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 9:34

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