The Road Home Paperback – 12 Jun 2008
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"A novel of urgent humanity" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Rose Tremain does not disappoint. The Road Home is thematically rich, dealing with loss and separation, mourning and melancholia... As always her writing has a delicious, crunchy precision" (Observer)
"Filled with emotional richness, complex sensibility and a passionate insistence on the humanity of the poor" (Sunday Times)
"A classic work by the gifted Tremain" (Guardian)
"'Tremain is a magnificent story-teller'" (Independent on sunday)
WINNER OF THE 2008 ORANGE BROADBAND PRIZE FOR FICTION
Rose Tremain's hugely enjoyable new novel is the up-to-the-minute story of Lev, newly arrived in London from Eastern Europe. A wise and witty look at the contemporary migrant experience.
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Top Customer Reviews
In The Road Home, Tremain tells the story of Lev, an Eastern European migrant worker who has left his village and travelled to England so that he can finance a better life for his mother and daugther. He takes with him his grief for his dead wife. There is an almost fairytale-like quality to Lev's chance encounters and where they lead him, although, that said, they also feel natural and possible; Tremain has always been good on the essential randomness of experience.
Lev's London is awash with money, celebrity and complacency - an ugly picture of the way we live now - but there is nothing polemical about the book. The world Tremain creates feels real, and she allows her characters to negotiate it, and make their compromises with it, in a way that is both convincing and very poignant. There is also a rich vein of humour that runs through the book, much of which comes from the stories about and conversations with Lev's friend Rudi, who has stayed back in the village.
The 1983 Granta list of best young British novelists famously includes: McEwan, Rushdie, Pat Barker, Amis, Graham Swift. Tremain was among this group but in my view remains a little underrated. Both Music & Silence and Restoration have found critical acclaim and broad readerships, but The Colour - a fine, fine book - did less well, and The Way I Found Her is a book far less well known than it should be. Almost alone amongst that stellar group of 1983, she hasn't yet put a foot wrong.
This was my first Tremain novel and I liked the writing style and the way it flowed, I read this on holiday and this proved to be quite a quick read which entertained me. The parts when Lev arrives in the UK were great and it described well at first the confusion of entering a new culture before he then began to lead a rather charmed immigrant life.
But while Lev was slightly unpredictable in places, the characters surrounding him were nearly all stereotypes, like Christy the Irish heavy drinker or Sophie the Brit girl who is fun loving and easy to bed. Large parts of the plot did not ring true for me either but I am unable to give any big examples without spoiling the plot (ah Lev going from only knowing a few phases in English to reading Hamlet in a few months for one)
The more the novel went on the more far fetched it became until I was forced to suspend all belief in order to carry on to the even more unbelievable ending. I also had trouble believing the descriptions of (the unspecified)Eastern European country that Lev was from. I am just left with a image of everyone in this country drinking Vodka from dawn until dusk, children playing with goats during their lunch breaks and where £20 is a fortune.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A complex, interesting and ultimately uplifting story. I found myself thinking about it a lot after I had finishedPublished 2 days ago by Alison C.
Lovely book. Very poignant in view of Brexit. Maybe that is what we all should do now salvage out of what is lost and make something new.Published 19 days ago by Mrs C Stacey
It would have been a good story but the amount of swearing and sex spoilt the whole book for me. I will never read one of her books again.Published 2 months ago by J Greenwood
Very interesting book an insight into the plight of homelessness and what they endure although only a story research was needed ,that made it that much more interesting.Published 3 months ago by Linda Duke
arrived in good time for me to read before next book club meetingPublished 3 months ago by SUE_T_UK
An interesting view on the life of an immigrant. Good characters and well writtenPublished 3 months ago by mrs penny cooper