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. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
An extraordinary feat of storytelling, the three novels that make up the West Country Trilogy will take readers on a journey from the agricultural world at the turn of the century, through to the devastation and upheaval of the First World War – an event that will transform not only the lives of Lottie and Leo, but also the fate of a nation.
An absolutely exquisite moment in reading time, and one to cherish. Concentrating on Leo and Lottie, from the world at war in 1916 to survival beyond, this is the last in the ‘West Country Trilogy’, however, The Redeemed can easily be read as standalone as I’ve stepped straight into the final book and adored it. I will admit that I do desperately want to read the first two now, and believe I will be able to do so without feeling as though I have missed out on the reading journey. Tim Pears writes with wonderful clarity, small details create a fully painted picture, every word matters and is perfectly placed. Life on board the battlecruiser came to stark realistic life while back in the West Country the farming community committed to the cycle of life. Leo and Lottie live in their moment, in their time, yet their story feels gracefully ageless and everlasting. With joy and heartache waiting to be discovered The Redeemed is an eloquent, gorgeous and fully satisfying read, it is quite simply, beautiful.