Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Trespass by Rose Tremain


Trespass by Rose Tremain
Published in the UK by Vintage in February 2010.

How I got this book:
Borrowed from a friend

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


In a silent valley in southern France stands an isolated stone farmhouse, the Mas Lunel. Its owner is Aramon Lunel, an alcoholic haunted by his violent past. His sister, Audrun, alone in her bungalow within sight of the Mas Lunel, dreams of exacting retribution for the unspoken betrayals that have blighted her life.

Into this closed world comes Anthony Verey, a wealthy but disillusioned antiques dealer from London seeking to remake his life in France. From the moment he arrives at the Mas Lunel, a frightening and unstoppable series of consequences is set in motion...

I absolutely loved Rose Tremain's historical fiction novel The Colour when I read it three years ago. She's an author whose I have meant to read more of and finally got around to this week. Trespass, for me, didn't have the immersive power of The Colour, but is still a very well written novel with an intriguing mystery at its heart. It is set in southern France, an area that Tremain knows well, and her expertise comes across in the writing. I loved her evocation of the lonely rural community and the ties of local people to the land they have farmed in the same way for generations. The strained relationship between siblings Audrun and Aramon Lunel - and the dark reason for this - is beautifully portrayed and I think I would have been much happier with Trespass had Tremain focused on this French story. Instead the novel is split between the Lunels and a rich English brother and sister, Veronica and Anthony Verey, one of whom is already living in France and the other who decides to emigrate nearby - possibly to Mas Lunel.

Anthony Verey feels wearyingly sorry for himself for most of the book and not only did I not like his character, I found his perpetual whinging spoilt the rest of this story for me as well. He used to be rich and famous within his nartow Chelsea art clique. Now he isn't but he still has a lot more than most people so my empathy with his 'poor me' routine was pretty much zero throughout - I'd love to be able to just buy a French farmhouse on a whim! Both sisters have to take responsibility for their brothers, practically parenting them much of the time, which was interesting as the males still insisted on seeing themselves as being in charge. Women in Trespass are strong, but are treated as weak for the sake of pride which is something that rang very true from my family.

I'm glad to have read Trespass and currently have two more borrowed Rose Tremain books awaiting me so I look forward to reading them soon. I don't know exactly what to expect as Tremain writes her stories in different settings and eras. Fingers crossed that The Gustav Sonata and Music And Silence will be at least as good as Trespass and hopefully might even equal the heights of The Colour!


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Rose Tremain / Mystery fiction / Books from England

8 comments:

  1. I think his whining would put me off.

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    1. Fortunately there were enough other things going on to dilute his whining, otherwise this might have been a DNF!

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  2. It's great when an author can evoke the feel of a setting so well, and I love reading about all different types of family relationships and dynamics. Glad you liked this!

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    1. I love how Tremain can put across the essence of a place. She did the same in The Colour - such a talent!

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  3. I wonder if the author intended Anthony to be an unlikable character. The 'poor me' would put be off on liking him as well. I've never read Rose Tremain, I do hope you enjoy the other two books you have.

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    1. I think she probably did mean Anthony to be unlikable, but she also seemed to feel a kind of sympathy for him that completely escaped me!

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  4. I think that Anthony might have drove me crazy. I think I would like the women in this story. It sounds like an interesting read.

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    1. In my experience so far, Rose Tremain always writes worthwhile novels. As reliable an author as Anne Tyler, but with a greater breadth of genres!

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