September 07, 2010

Trespass - Rose Tremain

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?


nomadreader said...

I loved this novel too! It was also my first Tremain, and I'm looking forward to reading more soon. I've read mixed reviews of Trespass, but I adored it, and I'm so glad to have some like-minded company.

Steph said...

I'll be reading this one later this month, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! I've read reviews suggesting this isn't Tremain's best novel, so I think it might work in our favor that this is the first book by her that I'm reading... And of course it makes exploring her back catalog even more exciting!

Buried In Print said...

The only novel of hers that I've read is The Road Home but, on the strength of that single read, I determined that she was a MRE author for me (Must Read Everything). Funnily enough, it took me a bit of getting into the novel to start with, I even debated whether to continue, but its characters caught hold and I was genuinely engaged in a way that doesn't come along very often. I'm very keen to read Trespass too.

Unknown said...

I wasn't a big fan of this one, but enjoyed The Road Home. I've heard that many of her older books are even better. I'm planning to read many more of her books in the future.

Hannah Stoneham said...

I have not read this one but am extremely fond of Rose Tremain - have you tried "The Way I Found Her" - that was the first one I read and so I suppose that you could say that it *was* the way I found her... I really enjoyed it

Thanks for sharing a great review


Marg said...

I have only read two of Rose Tremain's books. One was a collection of short stories which I thoroughly enjoyed, and then other was Music and Silence, which I thought I would love, but I ended up DNFing - something I do very rarely. Her books always sound interesting but I am a bit wary of actually reading one just in case I have the same reaction to it as I did to Music and Silence.

Karen said...

Hi nomadreader - I'm definitely on board with the "we like Trespass" group!

Hi Steph - That's so true!

Hi Buried in Print - I love the MRE idea! I think this is definitely the case for me too with this author.

Hi Jackie - I did remember that you weren't such a big fan of this one - I'm looking forward to The Road Home - just have to track down a copy as it isn't in my library and I can't find it in the bookshops! Book Depository here I come!

Hi Hannah - thanks for the tip - I will look out for this book of hers too.

Hi Marg - I can definitely understand how you would be a bit hesitant to dive into another Tremain after that experience.