Author: Rose Tremain
Release Date: October 18, 2010
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Trespass focuses on two sets of siblings: Audrun and Aramon, and Veronica and Anthony. Aramon and Audrun live just outside a small village in Southern France. Aramon lives in their large family house, while Audrun has been banished to a small bungalow on the edge of the property. Meanwhile, Anthony decides that he wants to buy a house in the French countryside, moving in with his sister Veronica and her lover Kitty while he looks. These two families collide in the most unexpected ways, with lasting repercussions.
From the very first page of Trespass, the reader knows something very bad has happened and will happen again. The entire novel is stuffed to the brim with secrets; though some fall out of the overflow into the reader’s hands, many are just hinted at. There is a sense of dread that permeates this entire book; things will not end well. As the pages turn, and the reader begins to understand the characters in this book, the twisted nature of the novel becomes clear.
Rose Tremain’s writing is beautiful and atmospheric. She manages to convey so much emotion with just a few words. There’s no doubt that the dread the reader feels while reading the novel is put there through Tremain’s prose. She is a master of the craft of writing, manipulating words at will on order to achieve her desired result. Despite the darkness of the book, it is easy to read, as the words flow smoothly from beginning to end.
There are two stories running through this novel that overlap as the story progresses. The Audrun/Aramon relationship was much more interesting than that of Anthony/Veronica. Their situation is difficult to see clearly through all the fog that surrounds them. Why has Audrun been banished to a bungalow on the corner of the lot, rather than inheriting along with Aramon? Why is there so much animosity between the two? Their tale takes on an almost gothic feel as truths are revealed. Their story was much more atmospheric and gripping than that of Anthony/Veronica, though both plotlines are interesting.
It’s difficult to write a review of Trespass without giving away key points of the novel, so I’ll just leave it as it is. It was a haunting novel that, while dealing with difficult subjects and imagery, is remarkably easy to read. This one is a must for fans of literary fiction; the story is engrossing and the writing is not to be missed.