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This begins The West Country Trilogy starting in 1911. It follows two years in the life of young Leo as he skips school as often as he can to help his father, brothers and cousin on one of the six farms on Lord Grenvil’s land. This is the time of the horse, long before tractors. Young Leo, although encountering pigs and cattle, is very much the horseman of the title and as he learns so, too, do we. In fact early on nearly four pages are devoted to the art of grooming. There are long sections on ploughing and horse maintenance, farming and shooting, all slow, detailed and full of country lore. At its centre is the social difference of two children who become friends through the love of horses, a friendship that is sadly misinterpreted. This is elegant, evocative prose with the change of seasons flowing gently through a tale spotted with tragedy and drama.
Books in The West Country Trilogy Series:
1. The Horseman
3. The Redeemed
From the prize-winning author of In the Place of Fallen Leaves comes a hypnotic pastoral novel about an unexpected friendship between two children, set in Devon in 1911. In a forgotten valley on the Devon-Somerset border, the seasons unfold, marked only by the rituals of the farming calendar. Twelve-year old Leopold Sercombe skips school to help his father, a carter. Skinny and pale, Leo dreams of a job on the estate's stud farm. He is breaking a colt for his father when a boy dressed in a Homburg, breeches and riding boots appears. Peering under the stranger's hat, he discovers Miss Charlotte, the Master's daughter. And so begins a friendship between the children, bound by a deep love of horses, but divided by rigid social boundaries - boundaries that become increasingly difficult to navigate as they approach adolescence.
'This is it. This is the real thing. This is whatever I mean by the work of a born writer ... The novel is comic, and wry, and elegiac, and shrewd and thoughtful all at once. Please read it'
A. S. Byatt Daily Telegraph on In the Place of Fallen Leaves
'Too subtle to be sentimental, too well written to be obvious. The author is a gifted storyteller, steeped in country lore and the beauty of ordinary events. Like Thomas Hardy whose kindred spirit quietly animates these pages, he is concerned with the dignity of work, the force of destiny and the consequences of human passion' New York Times Book Review
'Highly atmospheric... It has an intoxicating, magical quality which completely beguiled me'-- Jeremy Paxman Independent
'The writing is so genuine. Nothing is posturing or romanticised ... There's so much talent here' -- Barbara Trapido
'An unusually well-made novel which, through being less English than one would expect, produces a very English kind of magic' -- Giles Foden Independent on Sunday
'Refreshing ... even revelatory ... A work that is dense with detail and richly evocative ... A very impressive performance' -- Jane Smiley
'An engaging, well-written and original novel. Pears could write about the washing up and make it interesting' -- Philip Hensher, Guardian
'It is most beautifully written, hypnotic as Proust, very funny and full of love that doesn't cloy' -- Jane Gardam
'Reminiscent of Faulkner and Garcia Marquez, the writing retains a very English scale, closely observed and lyrical ... A triumph ... Sensitive, heart-warming and hallucinatory' Financial Times
'Beautiful' -- Salman Rushdie
Publication date: 13/07/2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
|Publication date:||13th July 2017|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Born in 1956, Tim Pears grew up in Devon, left school at sixteen and had countless menial jobs before studying at the National Film and Television School. He is the author of six previous novels, including In the Place of Fallen Leaves, which won the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award, In a Land of Plenty, which was made into a ten part drama series for the BBC, and, most recently, Landed. He has been Writer in Residence at Cheltenham Festival of Literature, and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, and has taught creative writing at Ruskin ...More About Tim Pears