Archive for March, 2011

Review of Trespass by Rose Tremain

March 28, 2011

Rose Tremain is undoubtedly a very good writer. Once you are immersed in her characters, and you are from the start, you want to know what happens. Trespass is the kind of book that you read and read, well into the early hours of the morning until you know how the dark threads of the plot are resolved.

Trespass is set in a valley in southern France, and has an ideal title – all kinds of trespassing goes on. Aramon Lunel, after a criminal past, degenerates into a self-seeking alcoholic completely insensitive to his sister, Audrun. He trespasses on her peace and quiet by threatening to make her homeless by selling his farmhouse on land that they share. Audrun lives in a tidy bungalow and is haunted by her ‘episodes’. She dwells on a final resolution for her brother and his threats.

Characters trespass on the each other in a web of mystery and soul-searching. Anthony Verey, a lover of boys, leaves his failed antiques business in the UK to be with the sister Veronica on whom he has always relied thereby trespassing on her relationship with her partner, Kitty a failing artist.  A young Parisian girl Mélodie, an outsider in the countryside, ruins a school picnic by her traumatizing find. Her teacher, Jeanne, tries to sooth Melodie’s fretfulness and as a solution offers to take Mélodie back into a city environment, an environment she misses so much.

With a web of dark clues we are led into a gradually evolving mystery trail that swerves and turns in unexpected directions. As the book moves towards an uneasy but satisfactory ending we are transported into the characters’ different worlds and anxieties that they endure and attempt to resolve.

However, above all, it is the style of the writing that captures you. Rose Tremain’s words are carefully crafted so that you are immediately inside the mind of each character. With powerful images that float into the characters’ thoughts, we share their inner most fears and uninhibited thoughts. We empathize with them and want to know what happens to them. We also revel in a vibrant sense of place that Rose evokes and we are disappointed when the book comes to an end and we have no more to read and discover.