I feel so lucky in my reading choices lately - virtually every book I have been picking up I have been connecting with straight away and just loving (it has been difficult to put the books down and keep turning up for work each day really!). I largely have to thank the Man Booker Prize 2010 long list for my reading success of late as most of my reading has been coming from this selection with the latest fantastic read being Trespass by Rose Tremain.
Trespass is set mainly in the Cérvennes region of Southern France (not an area I have ever been to physically but through Tremain's brilliant descriptions I certainly feel as though I have been there, at least in spirit, now).
Aramon Lunel is a lonely alcoholic man who is haunted by the deeds and memories of his past life and is looking to sell his family farmhouse and land - the Mas Lunel. Aramon's sister, Audren lives in a small bungalow on a piece of the family land given to her by her father when he died and she is devastated and terrified by the thought of the property being sold into a strangers hands.
The possible stranger in question is Anthony Verey, a wealthy English man who is trying to escape some failures in his life in London by moving to France to be closer to his beloved sister, Veronica or "V". Anthony is staying with V and her partner Kitty - who makes little secret of the fact that she can't stand Anthony (and in particular the focus he takes away from her in the eyes of Veronica) and it is in this context that Anthony starts to look for his own property and comes to the Mas Lunel through a real estate agent.
The two brother and sister combinations in the novel are explored through their past and current relationships with each other and their parents - particularly their mothers. The idea of trespass is explored through the many different ways in which a trespass can occur - against a person, their body, their land, their ideas, their relationships and their future - I thought the weaving of the title and the theme of trespass was woven so well throughout the whole book.
This novel was above all else for me a wonderful story of characters and how the choices they make - and the choices that are made for them - can affect their whole lives. I was brought into the story from the very beginning but I did not see just how complex and interwoven the story would become at that time. I thought that the book was clever, shocking and absorbing and I was sad to finish it - I am definitely on the lookout for more Rose Tremain books now - any suggestions for where to go next?