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The Resource The road home : a novel, Rose Tremain

The road home : a novel, Rose Tremain

Label
The road home : a novel
Title
The road home
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Rose Tremain
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Orange Prize for Fiction, 2008.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2008
Review
  • After the death of his wife, Lev leaves his unnamed Eastern European country for London to try and make enough money to support his mother and daughter. His only contact with home becomes a series of cell-phone calls with his hilarious and irrepressible best friend and with his depressed mother. Through his journey, Lev becomes a sort of anti-Candide, starting off depressed and pessimistic and then experiencing a series of happy accidents and good relationships that give him hope and allow him to rebuild his life and sense of self. Lev manages to be both a symbol of migrant workers and a fully developed character in his own right. Not all of the characters in the book are so lucky, especially Sophie, a young coworker—love interest, who morphs from charitable ingénue to fame-obsessed femme fatale with little explanation. Overall, this is an engaging, enjoyable, and informative read. -- Block, Marta Segal (Reviewed 07-01-2008) (Booklist, vol 104, number 21, p37)
  • 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 émigré's look at London. (Aug.) --Staff (Reviewed April 21, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 16, p30)
  • Widower Lev, the quintessential "everyman," arrives in London from an economically deprived area of Russia, armed with only a cursory knowledge of English and some bad financial advice. Aided by the kindness of strangers and a passionate zeal to provide a better life for his daughter, Maya, Lev takes pride in his lowly kitchen work at the renowned G.K. Ashe Restaurant while observing and absorbing the ways of its demanding chef. The author fills the pages with terrifically flawed yet redeemable secondary characters like Lydia, Lev's mentor of sorts; Christy Slane, his Irish landlord whose struggle with alcohol has resulted in a traumatic divorce; and his lover, Sophie, who introduces him to the quirky denizens of Ferndale Heights Nursing Home, in particular, Ruby Constad, who will play an important role in the fulfillment of Lev's dreams. Like Amy Bloom's recent novel, Away , or Ha Jin's A Free Life , Whitbread Award winner Tremain (Music and Silence ) has written a worthy addition to the growing body of work centered on the loneliness and frustration of the immigrant experience. Recommended for all larger fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/08.] Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Fort Myers, FL --Sally Bissell (Reviewed May 1, 2008) (Library Journal, vol 133, issue 8, p60)
  • /* Starred Review */ A displaced European's Candide-like progress through contemporary London is charted in this ambitious novel from the Whitbread Award–winning British author (The Colour, 2003, etc.).The protagonist is Lev, a recently widowed and also jobless former sawmill worker. He has left his young daughter and his (also widowed) mother behind (in a generically economically disadvantaged country that is and isn't Poland), hoping to find work and send money home. Debarking from the Trans-Euro bus on which he meets a similarly down-at-heels countrywoman (Lydia, who'll re-enter Lev's new life at variously crucial moments), Lev acquires a fragile living working as a distributor of leaflets, as a dishwasher, and so on, slowly ascending the ladder of minimal solvency, making a painstaking adaptation to a society that seems, to his bemused view, inexplicably self-indulgent, pampered and unmotivated. While sticking close to Lev's roiling thought processes, Tremain simultaneously constructs a subtly detailed mosaic of personal and cultural distinctions and conflicts—notably in Lev's cautious approach to reclaiming a sex life (perhaps even a love life?) and in generously developed conversations between Lev and his fulsome Irish landlord, bibulous plumber and compulsive worrywart Christy Slane. The novel's texture is further enriched by lengthy flashbacks spun from Lev's wistful memories, which acquaint us more fully with his warmhearted late wife Marina and his best friend Rudi, a resourceful hustler whose busy head is filled with visions of all things American, and foolproof scams by which such riches may be acquired. Rudi is an ingenious comic counterpart to Candide's annoyingly optimistic mentor Pangloss, and the novel dances into vigorous life whenever he takes hold of it. Still, Lev offers readers ample reason to get lost in this immensely likable novel's many pleasures.One of the best from the versatile Tremain, who keeps on challenging herself, and rewarding readers. (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2008)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
266071
Cataloging source
BTCTA
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Tremain, Rose
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Widowers
  • East Europeans
  • London (England)
Target audience
adult
Label
The road home : a novel, Rose Tremain
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Originally published in Great Britain by Chatto & Windus, 2007
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
417 pages
Isbn
9780316002615
Lccn
2008921700
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 181603140
  • (OCoLC)181603140
Label
The road home : a novel, Rose Tremain
Publication
Copyright
Note
Originally published in Great Britain by Chatto & Windus, 2007
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
417 pages
Isbn
9780316002615
Lccn
2008921700
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 181603140
  • (OCoLC)181603140

Library Locations

    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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