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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Road Home

by

The Road Home Cover

ISBN13: 9780316002615
ISBN10: 0316002615
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $10.95!

 

Awards

2008 Orange Prize for Fiction

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the wake of factory closings and his beloved wife's death, Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to London, seeking work to support his mother and his little daughter. After a spell of homelessness, he finds a job in the kitchen of a posh restaurant, and a room in the house of an appealing Irishman who has also lost his family. Never mind that Lev must sleep in a bunk bed surrounded by plastic toys — he has found a friend and shelter. However constricted his life in England remains he compensates by daydreaming of home, by having an affair with a younger restaurant worker (and dodging the attentions of other women), and by trading gossip and ambitions via cell phone with his hilarious old friend Rudi who, dreaming of the wealthy West, lives largely for his battered Chevrolet.

Homesickness dogs Lev, not only for nostalgic reasons, but because he doesn't belong, body or soul, to his new country — but can he really go home again? Rose Tremain's prodigious talents as a prose writer are on full display in The Road Home, but her novel never loses sight of what is truly important in the lives we lead.

Review:

"Tremain (Restoration) turns in a low-key but emotionally potent look at the melancholia of migration for her 14th book. Olev, a 42-year-old widower from an unnamed former east bloc republic, is taking a bus to London, where he imagines every man resembles Alec Guinness and hard work will be rewarded by wealth. He has left behind a sad young daughter, a stubborn mother and the newly shuttered sawmill where he had worked for years. His landing is harsh: the British are unpleasant, immigrants are unwelcome, and he's often overwhelmed by homesickness. But Lev personifies Tremain's remarkable ability to craft characters whose essential goodness shines through tough, drab circumstances. Among them are Lydia, the fellow expatriate; Christy, Lev's alcoholic Irish landlord who misses his own daughter; and even the cruelly demanding Gregory, chef-proprietor of the posh restaurant where Lev first finds work. A contrived but still satisfying ending marks this adroit migr's look at London." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The pleasure, the wit and the joy in humanity that Tremain brings to every page do what literature, at its best, should do: connect us, as E.M. Forster famously exhorted." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Tremain transforms this episodic road story into a gem of a novel." Seattle Times

Review:

"[A] moving, utterly absorbing portrait of deracination, hope, loss, longing and fortitude." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"[S]chmaltz aside, this British novel can remind any American reader of the loneliness and hope of the immigrant experience." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"It's not just the clarity of her prose, the liveliness of her plots, the precision of her settings, or the depth of her characters. I love Tremain because she is so compassionate." Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Author

Rose Tremain lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer Richard Holmes.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Wienergal, April 25, 2009 (view all comments by Wienergal)
No one writes about loneliness as profoundly and truthfully as Rose Tremain, and "The Road Home" is ample proof of her ability to explore that feeling without being maudlin or trite. As in some of her other brilliant novels--notably "Sacred Country"--the protagonist is all at sea in an unfamiliar world, hugging secrets to himself while thrashing about, leery of sharing who he is with anyone, but in real need of human warmth and companionship. I loved the characters and the arc of the story, and, as always, the beautiful, evocative prose.
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(2 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Wendy Robards, January 17, 2009 (view all comments by Wendy Robards)
Lev is 43 years old and forced to leave his rural East European town to seek work in London. He has been widowed (his young wife Marina having died from Leukemia) and must support his daughter Maya and his elderly mother who remain behind in Russia. Lev barely speaks English and is at first bewildered by London. But Lydia, a woman he meets on the train, helps him find a job working in a posh restaurant where he meets the sexy Sophie. Lev eventually finds lodging with an Irishman named Christy Slane who is also experiencing loss.

Lev’s story is painful at times. He misses Marina - cannot seem to get past the loss of her - and struggles to save money to send home to his daughter and mother. His future seems hopeless and he misses his country and his best friend, Rudi - a gregarious man whose love affair with an American Chevy and his fondness for life make him immediately endearing.

It is largely Lev’s friendship with men like Christy and Rudi which elevates him past his grief and imbues him with hope. When Lev recalls a hiking trip with Rudi to an isolated cave shortly after Marina’s death, the reader begins to see there will be a future for him after all.

The Road Home is a character driven novel about loss and identity. It is a novel which reminds the reader that the past must sometimes be left behind in order to move forward. Dreams are the fuel for overcoming obstacles in this story of a man who must leave his home in order to find it again. Lev is a dreamer and a romantic. He is a character who readers want to see succeed, a man whose flaws are surpassed by his kind and vulnerable heart.

Rose Tremain has yet to disappoint me - I’ve read Music and Silence and The Colour and found them both outstanding. Tremain’s novels are written with sensitivity and insight into the human condition - and The Road Home is perhaps her finest work. This novel won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2008.

Highly recommended.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
teelgee, January 13, 2009 (view all comments by teelgee)
Excellent story of immigrants finding the way through the maze of employment, housing, food. In this case, the main character is from Eastern Europe immigrating to London. Great character development, heartwarming story. Tremain is a wonderful writer and this book is deserving of its Orange Prize for Fiction.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316002615
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Tremain, Rose
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Immigrants
Subject:
Homesickness
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090521
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.10x6.10x1.60 in. 1.45 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Road Home Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316002615 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Tremain (Restoration) turns in a low-key but emotionally potent look at the melancholia of migration for her 14th book. Olev, a 42-year-old widower from an unnamed former east bloc republic, is taking a bus to London, where he imagines every man resembles Alec Guinness and hard work will be rewarded by wealth. He has left behind a sad young daughter, a stubborn mother and the newly shuttered sawmill where he had worked for years. His landing is harsh: the British are unpleasant, immigrants are unwelcome, and he's often overwhelmed by homesickness. But Lev personifies Tremain's remarkable ability to craft characters whose essential goodness shines through tough, drab circumstances. Among them are Lydia, the fellow expatriate; Christy, Lev's alcoholic Irish landlord who misses his own daughter; and even the cruelly demanding Gregory, chef-proprietor of the posh restaurant where Lev first finds work. A contrived but still satisfying ending marks this adroit migr's look at London." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The pleasure, the wit and the joy in humanity that Tremain brings to every page do what literature, at its best, should do: connect us, as E.M. Forster famously exhorted."
"Review" by , "Tremain transforms this episodic road story into a gem of a novel."
"Review" by , "[A] moving, utterly absorbing portrait of deracination, hope, loss, longing and fortitude."
"Review" by , "[S]chmaltz aside, this British novel can remind any American reader of the loneliness and hope of the immigrant experience."
"Review" by , "It's not just the clarity of her prose, the liveliness of her plots, the precision of her settings, or the depth of her characters. I love Tremain because she is so compassionate."
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