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At first there appear to be four separate stories: a young school-girl, Melody, unhappy about her family's move from Paris to the wilds of the South of France; a wealthy, homosexual antiques dealer in London yearning for change; his sister living in the south of France in a lesbian relationship; an aging Frenchman living in a crumbling mansion and his sister living resentfully nearby in a bungalow. Her life scarred by being sexual abused by her brother and father when a young woman. As you can see there's a morass of unhappiness to add to a slowing evolving story with tragic consequences. The title 'Trepass' gradually begins to make sense as the four sets of characters eventually come together in the South of France.
At first I thought the book was just going to be about feelings and the evocation of the atmosphere of the South of France, but, as you'll find out, it's much more than this. The pleasure of the book is greatly enhanced by Juliet Stephenson's excellent narration: she uses her beautiful and expressive voice to bring the many characters to life.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
I've become a great fan of Rose Tremain over the past few years and this is one of her best. The various threads are skilfully woven and I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns of the tale. Loved Juliet's narration.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I'd rate this as an 'okay' read; not much sympathy for, or interest in any of the characters, which were all well-voiced by Juliet Stephenson except for one of the main ones- Aramon (her characterisation for him I found really grating). Overall the book felt like half-formed clay, and ultimately forgettable.
Juliet Stevenson's performance is breathtaking. It was like being at the Theatre with a full cast.