The Wanderers

Tim Pears. Bloomsbury, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-1-63557-202-5
This elegiac second novel in Pears’s West Country Trilogy (after The Horseman) movingly depicts life in the English countryside on the eve of the First World War. Leo Sercombe, banished from the estate where he worked, travels through the West of England seeking relatives, but the need for food and money set him drifting among the local transients, shepherds, and tramps. Leo is a quiet, likeable protagonist; his boyishness, loneliness, and consistent wonder at the natural world enliven the detailed accounts of his everyday labors and odd jobs he gets to keep himself alive. The narrative alternates between Leo and Lottie Prideaux, Leo’s former lover and the daughter of the owner of the estate where he formerly worked. Lottie, too, is isolated and unmoored, frustrated by her nebulous position between adult and child. The novel spans several quiet years during which the teens grow older without any communication or expectation of reunion, and some readers will find the lack of narrative momentum frustrating. But this majestic, foreboding novel paints an emotional portrait of a land on the cusp of turmoil. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-1-4088-9233-6
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