Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 320 pages, 7.81 × 5.19 × 0.94 in
Published: July 22, 2008
Publisher: Random House UK
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0099478463
ISBN - 13: 9780099478461
From the Publisher
In the story of Lev, newly arrived in London from Eastern Europe,
Rose Tremain has written a wise and witty book about the
contemporary migrant experience.
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. . . .
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
Readers will become totally involved with his story, as he
struggles with the mysterious rituals of "Englishness," and the
fashions and fads of the London scene. We see the road Lev travels
through Lev's eyes, and we share his dilemmas: the intimacy of his
friendships, old and new; his joys and sufferings; his aspirations
and his hopes of finding his way home, wherever home may be.
About the Author
Rose Tremain's books have won many prizes including the Whitbread
Novel of the Year, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Prix
Femina Etranger, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Angel Literary Award
and the Sunday Express Book of the Year.
From the Author
AUTHOR INTERVIEW Your books generally seem to require great leaps of the imagination – in previous books you have taken the reader into the minds of a 13-year-old boy loose in Paris, a visitor to the 17th century Danish court, a young woman caught up in the New Zealand gold rush, and many more diverse people. The Road Home is no exception – you take us into the mind of an economic migrant from Eastern Europe trying to carve out a niche in an inhospitable London. Is this a challenge you deliberately set yourself? Why do you think you choose such diverse characters to inhabit? A. The central character of my first novel, Sadler’s Birthday, was a 76 year-old man. Readers found this surprising (I was 30 when I wrote the book), but in this gap between myself and my creation lay immense imaginative freedom, and it was this that gave me the courage to embark on the book. Of course, I drew on observations of elderly men that I knew (my grandfather in particular), but the need to imagine Sadler’s feelings, memories and longings was what kept me interested in the story. And since then, I’ve deliberately built my fictions around characters who are distant from me, in gender, place or time - or all of these. The moment I get close to my own biography, I feel boredom (and even mild self-dislike) creeping up on me and so my writing loses pace. What research did you do for the novel? A. The most important piece of research I
"One of the finest writers in English."
"Tremain is a magnificent story-teller."
-Independent on Sunday
STARTING POINTS FOR YOUR
- 'Through Lev's eyes, we see London as the incomer views it and
it is not an attractive sight: alternately moneyed and
poverty-stricken, its inhabitants obsessed by status and success.'
(Edward Marriott, Observer)
Do you agree with Marriot's assessment of how Lev views London,
and do you feel Tremain paints a realistic picture?
- In her author interview Rose Tremain says 'I've deliberately
built my fictions around characters who are distant from me, in
gender, place or time - or all of these. The moment I get
close to my own biography, I feel boredom (and even mild
self-dislike) creeping up on me'.
Does this reflect your own feelings as a reader? Do you prefer
novels which reflect your own experiences or take you somewhere
else? What do you think you have in common with Lev?
- Food is a very important motif in the novel. How does Tremain
illustrate Lev's journey in terms of food? Why do you think she
only begins to describe the food of his own country towards the
- In the author interview Tremain says that in her view, 'most
Brits want to be welcoming to migrants, but have worries - or
indeed extreme anxieties - of their own which sometimes prevent
them from doing this'.
Do you agree? What worries and anxieties do you think Tremain is
referring to and how are these played out in the novel?
- Have you ever lived in another country? If so, how far did your
experiences reflect Lev's? What did you find challenging about
establishing a new life in a different culture? Did it affect the
way you read the novel?
If not, do you think you could ever do what Lev did? What would
you find hardest to leave behind?
- Lev's relationship with Sophie becomes very dark when he turns
violent towards her. Why do you think he has such difficult
relationships with women?
- In the end Lev returns to his family and builds a life with his
new found skills and money. Why do you think that the novel has
ended in such an idealistic way? Do you think that this ending is
possible for immigrants?