Saturday, August 28, 2010

SM5S: Trespass by Rose Tremain

A fun way to add variety to review formats this meme was created by Alipet at That's A Novel Idea.

Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here has the Mr Linky each week so we can link up our posts .


1 Book I Read: Trespass by Rose Tremain

2 Words that describe the book: Sibling relationships

3 settings and/or characters I met:

  • Set among the hills and gorges of the Cevennes, the dark and beautiful heartland of southern France.

  • Anthony Vesey - a wealthy Englishman, an antique dealer of renown once known as 'the Anthony Vesey' but now in his sixties the business is failing and he is tired and disillusioned. He decides to visit his sister, Veronica and her partner, Kitty, who live in France and look for properties with thhe intent of starting a new life.

  • Aramon Lunel and his sister, Audron . Aramon, owner of the Mas Lunel, an isolated stone farmhouse, is an alcoholic haunted by his past and incapable of caring for his house or land. Audron lives in a cottage on the property and dreams of exacting retribution for the betrayals that have blighted her life.
4 things I liked/disliked about the book:

  • Definition: Trespass - to sin, transgress; to commit an unlawful injury to the person, property, or rights of another; to infringe on the privacy, time, or attention of another. One word that describes exactly what this book is about. A perfect title - I like that!

  • Rose Tremain's writing is a joy to read. Her description of the natural beauty of the Cevennes is wonderful and brings the region vividly to life. I also liked how she used images of nature to emphasise the stage of life the characters were at and how they were feeling............." Birds came down from their night roosts to peck for worms in the grass, but the grass was full of dust and on it was a carpeting of brown cherry leaves, already falling. The lavender flowers, where a few bees came to search for nectar, had lost all their colour. Leaf moth was attacking the bays and the laurels, making the leaves blister and curl. Oleander blooms withered and fell." Summer gives way to Autumn.

  • The main characters are all aged 55+ ............all of them are flawed and heavily burdened by past events in their lives. While I couldn't get emotionally attached to, or even like any of them as individuals, collectively I could understand them because I fall into the same age group........and for me aging was the most important theme of the book. 

  • Which is why I dislike the blurb on the back cover - " a thrilling novel about disputed territory, sibling love and devastating revenge". Yes, there is a crime but the pace of Trespass is not thrilling and any reader expecting a fast moving suspense thriller is going to be disappointed.  Trespass is quiet, dark and melancholy, full of psychological insights into the different characters and focusing on the effect of the memories of negative life experiences in relationships and how they motivate present actions.
5 Stars of less for my rating:

4.5 Stars for Trespass............I thought it was very, very good. I've had some reviews of this book appear in my google reader from readers that were disappointed but I certainly wasn't. I think it probably has something to do with the age thing.


  1. So, my age might be a positive factor in enjoying this novel? Great! That almost never happens, LOL. Really, I love your review and I'm adding the title to my "Must read" list. Thanks!

  2. Wow, this sounds wonderful to me. "dark and melancholy" sometimes just appeals to me. I'm a big fan of Thomas Hardy. This one is definitely going on the list. Thanks for sharing.

  3. It sounds very good!

    I like the 5-point review format. Fun idea!

  4. Sounds like the blurb on the back did the book a disservice. I've seen other reviews of this book (I think it is up for the Booker Prize or something?) and it seems to be a bit "slow moving" but satisfying. Love that the title was a perfect fit for the book.

  5. Jenners - yes, it was longlisted for the Booker Prize.

    Mary - lol - doesn't happen often I agree with all the YA around so lets enjoy.

    RCR - it is fun and makes a change from the usual review format.

    Kaye - I rather like the 'dark and melancholy' approach sometimes too