…a Gothic novel, dark and eerie…Tremain is as ambitious as her better known male compatriots. She seems ready to try any form, any style, even any worldview, but she is more controlled and more subtle than they are, a Haydn rather than a Beethoven. She disappears into the work, not readily revealing herself, except through her insights into characters, events and settings, and through her subtle wit…With luck,
Trespass will entice American readers to experience the riches and wisdom of Rose Tremain's large and varied body of work. She is a maestro. The Washington Post
Two pairs of siblings and their twisted pasts converge in this gripping, dark novel from Orange Prize-winner Tremain (The Road Home). In the southern French Cévennes region, Audrun lives a peaceful if bitter life in a small bungalow a stone's throw from her family home. She's been cast out, either by inheritance or some terrible transgression; her drunken, spiteful brother, Aramon, who still resides there, hopes to sell the home to foreign tourists, an act that would further uproot Audrun. Meanwhile, Anthony Verey, a once-renowned London antiques dealer, having reached an existential precipice, descends on his sister, Veronica, who lives near the Cévennes with her lover, Kitty. As Anthony and Kitty quietly battle for Veronica's affections, Audrun and Aramon struggle with their history and land. Anthony wants a home in the region, hoping it will fill his void, and he joins the wave of foreigners hungrily circling the area. Soon, a series of rash decisions impacts all of their lives in brutal, unforgettable ways. Tremain renders this untamed area with haunting prose, but the affecting sense of dread she builds makes her tale at times unrelentingly grim. (Oct.)
“A dark and unflinching novel.... Tremain knows how to work the authorial searchlight... She grabs her readers by their ankles and dangles them over the abyss. She spares us nothing and she never lets us go.”
The New York Times Book Review
Two pairs of siblings, all in late middle age, are set on a trajectory to collide with one another. The English Vereys meet the French Lunels in the Cévennes region of southern France. Anthony Verey is winding down his once successful career as a dealer in fine antiques now that the bottom has fallen out of the market. On a visit to his sister and her lesbian lover, he makes the fateful decision to buy a home nearby. This puts him in the direct path of Aramon and Audrun, a brother and sister who share an inherited property and whose relationship has been poisoned by years of sexual abuse perpetrated by the brother. He now wants to sell the old stone house left to him by their parents while his sister schemes to get it from him. VERDICT No Tremain novel is like any other. This one is much darker but no less compelling than the celebrated The Road Home. Read her for her lushly descriptive settings, her deeply flawed but intensely interesting characters, and her imaginative plots. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/10.]—Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont.
Two very different sets of siblings, one French, one English, seek resolution to their fraught upbringings and present discontent in this latest tale of intertwining lives from Tremain (
The Road Home, 2008, etc.).
When his success as a London antiques dealer wanes, Anthony Verey, solitary but for his sexual proclivity for young men, travels to southern France where his sister, Veronica, lives and gardens with her partner and lover, Kitty, while writing a book titled
Gardening without Rain that Kitty, a mediocre watercolorist, intends to illustrate. Anthony decides, much to the dismay of his sister's lover, to purchase property nearby. His interest falls on the Lunel family homestead, where the Lunel siblings live locked in antipathy—the alcoholic Aramon in the filth and decay of the family's once fine home, and his sister, Audrun, relegated to a squalid cottage beside the wood that is her meager birthright. Aramon plans to sell the house to a rich foreigner, and Audrun, tired of cleaning up his messes, loathes him for his mistreating his land, property and animals, but most of all for plotting to convert their home into cash. The proximity of Audrun's cottage to the Mas Lunel is an obstacle to its sale and so he contests their property boundaries. Audrun wishes Aramon dead; Kitty has similar hopes for Anthony, who has proven himself an apple of discord thrown into their paradisiacal existence. As the dry mistral desiccates the landscape, tensions strain until, quite suddenly, Anthony disappears. Tremain sensually, intricately depicts the landscape, gardens and woods of southern France. The author's latest is worth reading for its flights of interior narration and iridescent, vivid descriptions. There's a solid story to boot.
A well-executed, intense tale of dark family secrets coming to light in a sunny place.