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Sacred Country by [Tremain, Rose]
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Sacred Country Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Length: 340 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Review

"The Village Voice Literary Supplement"

"Sacred Country" is...about the unexpected and its pleasures, the thrill of rounding a corner and finding something is not at all what you thought, even when that something is yourself...brilliant.



"The Boston Sunday Globe"

A stunning achievement.



"The New Yorker"

A beautiful, knowing novel about isolation and loneliness.



"The Wall Street Journal"

An extraordinary novel....spare, pointed [and] extremely moving.



"The Washington Post"

The writing in this novel is a sheer delight....skilled, intelligent storytelling at its best.



"The London Times Evening Standard"

"Sacred Country," by even the most exacting standards, is an unqualified success.



Los Angeles Times

Mary's story is superficially bizarre, yet Tremain makes her not just real but moving and blithe....There is a hint of the magical or providential at work.



"The Boston Sunday Globe"

Rose Tremain's purpose is to probe and illumine the mystery of identity with particular poignancy and rare compassion....intricate and rewarding fiction.



"The New York Times Book Review"

A book that we give to our friends and are glad to have read...Tremain gives us a precisely imagined landscape and...characters that we come to care deeply about.



"The Literary Review"

(London)

There is no one like Tremain as far as the eye can see....Her book is one to admire and enjoy. It is funny, absorbing, and quite original. I've read nothing to touch it this year.



"The Boston Sunday Globe"A stunning achievement.

"The New Yorker"A beautiful, knowing novel about isolation and loneliness.

"The Wall Street Journal"An extraordinary novel....spare, pointed [and] extremely moving.

"The Washington Post"The writing in this novel is a sheer delight....skilled, intelligent storytelling at its best.

Los Angeles TimesMary's story is superficially bizarre, yet Tremain makes her not just real but moving and blithe....There is a hint of the magical or providential at work.

"The Boston Sunday Globe"Rose Tremain's purpose is to probe and illumine the mystery of identity with particular poignancy and rare compassion....intricate and rewarding fiction.

"The New York Times Book Review"A book that we give to our friends and are glad to have read...Tremain gives us a precisely imagined landscape and...characters that we come to care deeply about.

"The Literary Review"(London)There is no one like Tremain as far as the eye can see....Her book is one to admire and enjoy. It is funny, absorbing, and quite original. I've read nothing to touch it this year.

"The Village Voice Literary Supplement""Sacred Country" is...about the unexpected and its pleasures, the thrill of rounding a corner and finding something is not at all what you thought, even when that something is yourself...brilliant.

"The London Times Evening Standard""Sacred Country, " by even the most exacting standards, is an unqualified success.

Los Angeles Times Mary's story is superficially bizarre, yet Tremain makes her not just real but moving and blithe....There is a hint of the magical or providential at work.

"The Wall Street Journal" An extraordinary novel....spare, pointed [and] extremely moving.

"The Literary Review" (London) There is no one like Tremain as far as the eye can see....Her book is one to admire and enjoy. It is funny, absorbing, and quite original. I've read nothing to touch it this year.

"The Boston Sunday Globe" A stunning achievement.

"The Boston Sunday Globe" Rose Tremain's purpose is to probe and illumine the mystery of identity with particular poignancy and rare compassion....intricate and rewarding fiction.

"The New Yorker" A beautiful, knowing novel about isolation and loneliness.

"The New York Times Book Review" A book that we give to our friends and are glad to have read...Tremain gives us a precisely imagined landscape and...characters that we come to care deeply about.

"The Washington Post" The writing in this novel is a sheer delight....skilled, intelligent storytelling at its best.

"The Village Voice Literary Supplement" "Sacred Country" is...about the unexpected and its pleasures, the thrill of rounding a corner and finding something is not at all what you thought, even when that something is yourself...brilliant.

"The London Times Evening Standard" "Sacred Country, " by even the most exacting standards, is an unqualified success.

The New Yorker A beautiful, knowing novel about isolation and loneliness.

The Wall Street Journal An extraordinary novel....spare, pointed [and] extremely moving.

The Village Voice Literary Supplement Sacred Country is...about the unexpected and its pleasures, the thrill of rounding a corner and finding something is not at all what you thought, even when that something is yourself...brilliant.

The New York Times Book Review A book that we give to our friends and are glad to have read...Tremain gives us a precisely imagined landscape and...characters that we come to care deeply about.

The Boston Sunday Globe A stunning achievement.

The London Times Evening Standard Sacred Country, by even the most exacting standards, is an unqualified success.

The Washington Post The writing in this novel is a sheer delight....skilled, intelligent storytelling at its best.

The Literary Review (London) There is no one like Tremain as far as the eye can see....Her book is one to admire and enjoy. It is funny, absorbing, and quite original. I've read nothing to touch it this year.

The Boston Sunday Globe Rose Tremain's purpose is to probe and illumine the mystery of identity with particular poignancy and rare compassion....intricate and rewarding fiction.

Book Description

25 years on from its first publication this classic novel from the Orange prize-winning author of The Road Home and Restoration is reissued with a bold new look

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1230 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (28 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M8S42C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first came across Rose Tremain when my wife bought The Road Home which I picked up as I had nothing else to read at that time and could not put down. I thought that I would try another and bought Sacred Country which did not disappoint. Rose Tremain is no writer of "chic lit"; she is a serious writer of contemporary drama with a nice sense of humour to relieve the tension.
She has the gift of involving the reader in the lives of her characters to the extent that one really cares and fears for them. She also illustrates accurately and interestingly life in rural England in the fifties and swinging London in the sixties.
Poor Mary knows at a very early age that she is different and for most of her young life she ploughs a lone furrow with no help or love from her maladjusted parents. There must be many sad Marys and Martins who, not through their choice, are made differently. This book certainly got me thinking sympathetically about a group whom I had previously given little thought to.
A sad subject, but not a sad novel; a really entertaining story told with kindness and a lot of humour. For those of us of a certain age the date of events underlined by the pop music of the time is a neat, memory jogging device although I think her dating of the Beatles is a year or so out a small, and perhaps pedantic, criticism of a great read .
Will Mary ever find contentment? It is worth reading the three hundred plus pages to find out. You won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first quarter of this wonderful book took some getting into. Mary/Martin's gender-identity struggle really absorbed me, but the numerous other stories were distracting. In Part Two, however, the purpose of the extensive web of characters became clear, and from then on I loved every page of it.

It's a novel about the journeys of people's lives, and the factors - controllable or otherwise - that shape them. In particular, it focuses on the struggles of non-conformists, and people trapped where they don't want to be: in the wrong body; in mental illness; in a small village, with a mind-numbing job. It will especially touch readers who, as children, were 'different' and felt the pain and loneliness of hiding something (the 'am I the only one?' syndrome). It's frequently a sad book, at least until personal triumphs come for some, towards the end. But it's written so beautifully, and with such a thirst for life, that it's never depressing. And there are lovely touches of humour. It was hard to put down.

Rose Tremain made me feel so much about her characters, and drew me in so completely, that I shall buy her other books unseen. She has convinced me that she will always be imaginative, interesting and compassionate.

Update, July 2009: I've read her others now, and although I think 'Sacred Country' is the best, I also loved 'The Road Home' and 'The Way I Found Her' (although the latter was marred by an ending that didn't feel credible). Rose Tremain sure knows how to write, and I will always watch out for her.
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Format: Paperback
Six year-old Mary stood quietly in the snow, with her family, as they mourned the death of King George VI, and thought "I am not Mary. That is a mistake. I am not a girl. I am a boy."
This is an enchanting story of people in a small village in the south of England trying to make sense of their lives.
It is not a book of tragedy. There is sadness, but there is joy. There is death but there is life. There is hopelessness but there is also the urge to become.
In its depiction of the complex network of relationships, there is probably more real truth about the way people are, than in a thousand psychology texts.
Walter with his dream of becoming a singer and songwriter believing that his dreams can never be fulfilled. Jimmy also nearly becoming trapped in a life not of his choosing. Both breaking out in their own special ways. Edward Harker, with his hat held discreetly in front of his trousers, believing that his feelings, at 61, for Irene are improper. And Irene never realising that a man could find her attractive as a woman.
Sonny, withdrawn inside himself occupied only with the farm that provided the family living. Estelle retreating into fantasy to escape a life of emptiness.
But, most of all, Mary who is really Martin, displaced in the family's cognisance by the arrival of the younger brother, despising him for his scrawny weakness, going through school to adulthood, meanwhile finding her true love and losing it, but growing triumphantly in her, then his, own individual way.
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Too many characters and too long. Enjoyed several other books by Rose Tremain but found this one quite hard work.
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Really compelling. A book about the preciousness of in-between moments in life. Wonderful. Like TRESPASS, a little whimsical at times.
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I am very pleased with the item I purchased
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I had 'The Road Home' by this author at Christmas and found it a very evocative story, written through the eyes of a foreigner in England. Seeing the country I thought I knew so well through foreign eyes was quite a wake-up call! I wanted to read more by this author, and was gratified to find that in this book, too, Rose Tremain tells a story from another unexpected viewpoint (or set of viewpoints, since she divides the book into sections that allow more than one character to take their turn to tell their story in the first person). Mary Martin Ward, the book's main protagonist, is an acute observer of the places in which she lives (Suffolk, London, America) and of the people she meets. The author succeeds in presenting Mary's early life from a child's perspective - i.e. keen observation but often faulty interpretation. All is focused through Mary's essential belief that she should really be a boy, not a girl, and in this respect, she too walks through England as if she is a 'foreigner', because she doesn't fit comfortably into the female role and environment that she occupies, and thus often feels more of an onlooker than a participant.

Something similar could be said of Mary's mother, Estelle, whose lifelong struggle against depression isolates her too in a world that only transiently relates to what actually goes on around her. Mary's father Sonny handles his apartness in a different way - with belligerence and dogmatism, becoming over the years ever more inward-looking and taciturn. Her brother Timmy is another character who doesn't dovetail into school or life; he too seems to be on the outside looking in.
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