In a silent valley stands an isolated stone farmhouse. Its owner is Aramon Lunel, an alcoholic so haunted by his violent past that he's let his hunting dogs starve and his land go to ruin.
Meanwhile, his sister, alone in her modern bungalow within sight of the Mas Lunel, dreams of exacting retribution for the unspoken betrayals that have blighted her life.
Into this closed world comes Anthony Verey, a wealthy but disillusioned antiques dealer from London. Anthony hopes to remake his life in France, and he begins looking at properties in the region. But, from the moment he arrives at the Mas Lunel, a frightening and unstoppable series of consequences is set in motion.
©2010 Rose Tremain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
At first there appear to be four separate stories: a young school-girl, Melody, unhappy about her family's move from Paris to the wilds of the South of France; a wealthy, homosexual antiques dealer in London yearning for change; his sister living in the south of France in a lesbian relationship; an aging Frenchman living in a crumbling mansion and his sister living resentfully nearby in a bungalow. Her life scarred by being sexual abused by her brother and father when a young woman. As you can see there's a morass of unhappiness to add to a slowing evolving story with tragic consequences. The title 'Trepass' gradually begins to make sense as the four sets of characters eventually come together in the South of France.
At first I thought the book was just going to be about feelings and the evocation of the atmosphere of the South of France, but, as you'll find out, it's much more than this. The pleasure of the book is greatly enhanced by Juliet Stephenson's excellent narration: she uses her beautiful and expressive voice to bring the many characters to life.
I've become a great fan of Rose Tremain over the past few years and this is one of her best. The various threads are skilfully woven and I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns of the tale. Loved Juliet's narration.
Fantastic. Tried to ration myself, but ended up gobbling this one in two days.
Each of the point-of-view characters is made totally understandable, even the most revolting ones. Loved the cool, precise description of their thoughts and experiences. She makes it easy to watch the movie in your head. Lots of nice sneaky prefiguring, and things are tied up in a satisfying way. Delicious, high-protein, slow-release food for your head.
Juliet Stevenson reads this really, really well.
I have always been a fan of Rose Tremain and was not disappointed by audio book. Juliet Stephenson is a remarkable narrator bringing all the characters to life with distinct voices for each of them. The story unfolds at a great pace, although the ending is rather drawn out.
Rose Tremain succeeds again with an excellent tale of revenge, selfishness and disillusion in the South of France. The ancient farmhouse, the Mas Lunel, home to the vile abusive Aramon and desired by the fey, self obsessed Englishman Anthony Verey, is crumbling under the surface like the lives of those it preoccupies. All of the main characters we meet are to some extent dissatisfied with their lives, some more justifiably than others, and their motivations interplay to create a beautifully structured, gripping story. We know there is death in the air but whose and how keep the listener guessing. Well read by the excellent Juliet Stevenson, this book comes highly recommended.
This tale was beautifully recounted my Juliet Stevenson. I was able to 'know' each one of the characters and feel empathy or dislike towards them. This 'bonding' with the characters could change within the space of two chapters as the author skilfully played with my emotions. So now I have the task of finding another gem to entrance me!
beautifully read and a very rich plot. The characters were fully developed and Juliet Stephenson captures them perfectly.
Not fitting into the usual genre by this author this was nevertheless a terrific book, the story was gripping from the first and had all the ingredients of a fascinating tale. Emotions run riot, jealousy, pride, heartache, corruption, deception. The language was tight and illuminating, the characters extremely believable. It was extremely well read with the various accents coming over crystal clear. A great listen and I would recommend it highly
I'd rate this as an 'okay' read; not much sympathy for, or interest in any of the characters, which were all well-voiced by Juliet Stephenson except for one of the main ones- Aramon (her characterisation for him I found really grating). Overall the book felt like half-formed clay, and ultimately forgettable.
"Completely engaging performance and story"
Juliet Stevenson's performance is breathtaking. It was like being at the Theatre with a full cast.
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