Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Road Home

The Road Home by Rose Tremain
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release date: August 26, 2008

I requested this book as an ARC, but received it as a new copy with a proclamation on the cover that it just received the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2008.

I really thought the quality of the writing in this book was fabulous. It is the story of Lev, a 43-year old who leaves his mother and daughter in their former-Soviet country home, to seek work in the UK. As Lev works, he tries to come to grips with the loss of his wife and the problems of life back home. I got a great sense of how tough and grueling life can be as a migrant trying to make things better for loved ones. Tremain doesn't gloss over anything. She describes what Lev eats, where he works, what he wears, and the irony of trying to save money while living in a society that squanders it.

Setting this aside, I had some big problems with the book. I was OK until about halfway through. The use of certain expletives was certainly jarring, but it was the sexual situations that finally pushed me over the edge. It was disturbing and uncomfortable, and I just didn't want the book to go there. These things are a personal judgment call, but it was just too much for me.

She also reviewed it: Bermudaonion
Let me know if you did too!


Corinne said...

I read the Bermudaoion review also - it sounds like a really interesting plot for a book.

I do, of course, always appreciate that you give me the serious lowdown :)

Amanda said...

Oh I think I know what you mean. I read her book The Colour and I think I would have liked it better but I couldn't get over some of the explicit and pretty disgusting sexual parts of the book. I really didn't think it needed to go there either. Or could have been implied...or something.

Anna said...

That stuff doesn't bother me to a certain extent. It depends on how far it goes. I've heard good things about this book, though.

--Diary of an Eccentric