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Rose Tremain

Author of The Road Home

35+ Works 9,117 Members 408 Reviews 44 Favorited

About the Author

Rose Tremain was born in London, England on August 2, 1943. She has written several novels including The Way I Found Her, Merivel: A Man of His Time, and The American Lover. Restoration was adapted into a movie in 1995 and a stage production in 2009. She has won numerous awards including the James show more Tait Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger for Sacred Country, the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award for Music and Silence, and the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2008 for The Road Home. She was made a CBE in 2007. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Rose Tremain

The Road Home (2007) 1,442 copies
Music & Silence (1999) 1,372 copies
Restoration (1989) 1,284 copies
The Colour (2003) 1,073 copies
Trespass (2010) 813 copies
The Gustav Sonata (2016) 606 copies
Sacred Country (1992) 477 copies
The Way I Found Her (1997) 473 copies
Merivel: A Man of His Time (2012) 325 copies
The Swimming Pool Season (1985) 143 copies
Lily (2021) 139 copies
The American Lover (2015) 129 copies
Islands of Mercy (2020) 110 copies
The Cupboard (1981) 101 copies
Sadler's Birthday (1976) 66 copies
Letter to Sister Benedicta (1978) 56 copies
Stalin (1975) 29 copies
Absolutely and Forever (2023) 24 copies
The Kite Flyer (1996) 17 copies
Friendship (2018) 11 copies
BP Portrait Award 2010 (2010) 10 copies
Collected Short Stories (1996) 3 copies
The Jester of Astapovo (2009) 2 copies
Ricky [2009 film] (2011) — Screenwriter — 2 copies
Iron Robin (2023) 1 copy

Associated Works

Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999) — Foreword, some editions — 17,184 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (1989) — Contributor — 428 copies
The Oxford Book of English Short Stories (1998) — Contributor — 189 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern Women's Short Stories (1990) — Contributor — 99 copies
Granta 7: Best of Young British Novelists (1983) — Contributor — 91 copies
Ox-Tales: Earth (2009) — Contributor — 85 copies
Granta 120: Medicine (2012) — Contributor — 82 copies
The Guardian Review Book of Short Stories (2011) — Author — 50 copies
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Contributor — 33 copies
Restoration [1995 film] (1934) — Original novel — 29 copies
The National Short Story Prize 2006 (2006) — Contributor — 19 copies
Good Housekeeping Short Story Collection (1997) — Contributor — 15 copies
Best Short Stories 1991 (1991) — Contributor — 15 copies
A Distant Cry: Stories from East Anglia (2002) — Contributor — 12 copies
Seven Deadly Sins: A Collection of New Fiction (1985) — Contributor — 1 copy


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Common Knowledge



Group Read, February 2019: The Colour in 1001 Books to read before you die (March 2019)


This is a relatively short book, but despite that it does pack quite the punch! I had to read late into the night to finish this book as I needed to know what happened, and there was one or two shocks along the way that I just did not see coming. In fact I lay awake for the next couple of hours thinking over the book and was left with an overwhelming feeling of sadness for the main character. Not always that a book has quite as much an effect on me.

The premise of the book is quite simple, girl meets boy, they develop a relationship and she declares that she will absolutely and forever love him. However life doesn’t quite happen the way they, or at least she, perceived it would and the book tells her story.

I found this book to be totally engaging throughout, and have had to give it a day or two before I could give it a final rating. The characters are so well-written and you end up caring significantly for the main character. Her parents are shall we say ‘interesting’ and I liked the way they were written back into the story towards the end, and the impact this had on Marianne. This whole book centres around the theme of relationships and how important the right relationships are to us.

Having thought on it I strongly recommend this book but can see why one or two people wouldn’t enjoy the book. I have yet to have read a book by Rose Tremain I haven’t enjoyed, but this book has made me want to get to more of her other books I haven’t read.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Andrew-theQM | 2 other reviews | Jan 10, 2024 |
A wonderful fairytale of a novel. With at least a couple of wicked witches - Kirsten the wife and almost queen of the King of Denmark (Christian) and Magdalena, the second wife of Emilia's father, who enchants the whole family with the exception of Emilia and Marcus her youngest brother. The narrative is told in various ways, including diaries and letters and begins when Peter Claire, a lutenist, joins the Danish court orchestra. Peter Claire becomes a favourite of the king. Emilia is sent from her home in Jutland to the court as a companion for Kirsten, the almost queen, by her step mother. The two young people meet and fall in love. This is the basis of the fairytale that includes erotic sex scenes, whispering conversations with animals, a silver mine and, of course, perilous sea voyages. Rose Tremain manages to keep control of so many characters and intrigues and weave a complex fairytale of 17th century life.… (more)
CarolKub | 32 other reviews | Jan 2, 2024 |
I read two articles this week that impacted on how I thought about the latest book from Rose Tremain.

The first was a call from Salman Rushdie to allow writers to create characters outside of their own experience. You can read it here: suffice to say that I agree with him. You cannot write (or read) about the complexities of life in a world full of diversity if these barriers are imposed on authors. My only caveat is that readers and writers should, IMO, read as widely as possible from a diversity of authors too.

The second article was from 2022: John Banville asserting in an interview that there has been a creeping retreat into infantilism. You can read it here but essentially he is concerned about two things: one is that readers don't seem to want difficult books now.
A friend said to me: “You see supposedly grownup people on the train unashamedly reading Harry Potter books; they should be reading grownup books, not children’s books!”

He makes the point that the escapism that children enjoy is one thing, but that the escape you get from art isn’t away from the world but into an infinitely wider one – into life.

Banville also says that his generation tried to address the question of being:
Fiction writers in Ireland now seem just to be writing about their immediate lives and the lives of their friends. That wasn’t the point at all for my generation; we were interested in what people are, not what they do.

What has any of this got to do with Rose Tremain's latest novella? It's the story of Marianne Clifford reflecting as the years pass on the way she nurtures her obsession with her first (failed) love. It's gently nostalgic, and it's (just bearably) narcissistic. It's set in 1960s upper middle-class Chelsea, where the Windrush generation is nowhere in sight and if gays are in the closet nobody opens the doors. The characters have names like Simon and Hugo; Rowena, Cordelia and Petronella a.k.a. Pet. They have horses called Mirabelle and Marvin.

Now, I like Rose Tremain's novels. I like her interest in exploitation (The Road Home, 2007); moral dilemmas (The Gustav Sonata, 2016); intolerance (Islands of Mercy, 2020); vengeance (Lily, a Tale of Revenge, 2021); and inequity (Merivel, a Man of His Time, 2012).

But while Absolutely and Forever is a mildly interesting story that takes us back to our younger selves — that first mad passion, that first broken heart — it's still a disappointment. Salman Rushdie's cautionary words about limiting the palette only to what the author knows, and John Banville's disdain for infantilism seem only too apt to me.

I had some hope for the novel on pages 46-7, when Marianne recounts an episode at school...

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2023/10/26/absolutely-and-forever-2023-by-rose-tremain/
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anzlitlovers | 2 other reviews | Oct 25, 2023 |



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