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The Road Home by Rose Tremain
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The Road Home (2007)

by Rose Tremain

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,278789,077 (3.95)385
  1. 40
    Brick Lane by Monica Ali (bergs47)
    bergs47: Immigration and assimilation in England,from the view of the immigrant although one is from easter Europe and the other from asia
  2. 20
    Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd (lizchris)
    lizchris: Alternative view of living in London
  3. 00
    The Shipping News: A Novel by E. Annie Proulx (PilgrimJess)
    PilgrimJess: Another book about starting anew after a traumatic experience.
  4. 00
    Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka (bergs47)
  5. 00
    Kolmannessa luokassa by Natalja Kljutscharjowa (buchstabendompteurin)
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» See also 385 mentions

English (76)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
Winner of the Orange Braodband prize. A character driven novel, well done. This is the story of an Eastern European man forced to try his luck in London as his hometown withers in the post-communist era. Very well done! Will be trying more of her novels, fast easy reads! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
A very good novel about an immigrant to London, chasing life and love and his dreams. It picks up speed as it goes along and ends with a very satisfying conclusion. Well worth your time. I'm glad I read it. ( )
  bostonbibliophile | May 30, 2018 |
This was a book that I had a bit of trouble getting into for the first 40 pages but once I got in I didn't want to put it down. Lev is a wonderful character and I didn't want to put the book down because I needed to find out what happens to him in the end. I can see why Tremain won prizes with this novel. ( )
  ChelleBearss | Mar 10, 2018 |
“When you’re old nobody touches you nobody listens to you—not in this bloody country.so that’s what I do. I touch and I listen.”

This novel tells the story of Lev who leaves his home country and like so many others is heading west. His wife, Marina, has died of leukaemia, his five-year-old daughter, Maya, is living with her grandmother and 42-year-old Lev, a former lumberyard worker is travelling to London to find work.

Lev arrives in a dusty, midsummer city full of hope but things, however, do not start well. He suddenly realises that the money that he had saved to live off until he found work is nowhere near enough. In fact his first night in the city, spent in an Earl's Court B&B costs him what he had expected to last him a week. The next day he gets a 'job' delivering leaflets for a kebab shop, for which he's paid 2p a leaflet and sleeps on the street

Lev is rescued from the streets by Lydia, the woman whom Lev had sat beside on the long bus journey across Europe. She finds him somewhere to live and a job as a kitchen porter and bit by bit, Lev gets himself on his feet so beginning a sometimes comic, often painful, journey through London. Through Lev's eyes, we see London as the incomer views it and it is not an attractive sight, its inhabitants obsessed by status and success. As Lev's Irish landlord Christy says, with some prescience: 'Life's a feckin' football match to the Brits now. They didn't used to be like this, but now they are. If you can't get your ball in the back of the net, you're no one.'

Despite slowly improving circumstances, and the fact that he is now able to send money home, Lev's conscience tugs at him: his daughter, who has lost her mother, is now worried that her father, too, will never return. Lev has, ironically, inflicted an experience of terrible loss on his small daughter. All too slowly, he becomes aware of this dilemma and, as he wrestles with it, as the novel approaches its climax.

Despite the fact that Lev is an immigrant with the added issues about language, I don't feel that this book is necessarily about immigration but could rather apply to anyone who moves to a strange city in search of work and improved opportunity. The book is thematically rich, dealing with loss and separation, mourning and melancholia, and what might underlie the ostensibly altruistic act of moving to another country to earn money for one's family. The themes have been well thought out and the writing has a beautiful precision about it, sometimes sad but often up-lifting. ( )
  PilgrimJess | May 13, 2017 |
The story concerns with Lev who is a middle-aged immigrant and widowed. He leaves Auror, a village in an unspecified eastern European country, when the sawmill closes. Soon after, he travels to London to find work so he can make money that he can send to his mother, his 5-year-old daughter, and his best friend. He finds his first job at a Muslim kebab-shop, before washing dishes at a five-star restaurant named GK Ashe. Lev also meets a translator from his home country named Lydia, a divorced Irish plumber named Christy, a young chef named Sophie, and a rich old woman named Ruby. ( )
  heritagebook | Dec 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"How can we live, without our lives?"

John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
Dedication
For Brenda and David Reid,
with fondest love
First words
On the coach, Lev chose a seat near the back and he sat huddled against the window, staring out at the land he was leaving: at the fields of sunflowers scorched by the dry wind, at the pig farms, at the quarries and rivers and at the wild garlic growing green at the edge of the road.
Quotations
"My God," said Christy. "The things man dreams up! It could make you horribly afraid."
"To put polenta on an expensive menu is a mendacious and decadent act."
"Freedom is speed. Freedom is horsepower and torque. Freedom is four wheels under your arse."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The protagonist has to leave his home in Croatia to make a living to support his mother and daughter. He travels to London where he finds work and begins to work in the restaurant industry. Eventually he has a dream to go home and develop hs own restaurant. A study into a character - very sensitive and well written Lovely story about a terrible situation to be in.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099478463, Paperback)

trade paperback, fine

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:39 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Lev is on his way to Britain to seek work, so that he can send money back to eastern Europe to support his mother and little daughter. He struggles with the mysterious rituals of 'Englishness', and the fashions and fads of the London scene. We see the road Lev travels through his eyes, and we share his dilemmas.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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