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Description de l’éditeur
The beautiful, questing second novel in Tim Pears' acclaimed West Country trilogy. Two teenagers, bound by love yet divided by fate, forge separate paths in pre-First World War Devon and Cornwall
1912. Leo is on a journey. Aged thirteen and banished from the secluded farm of his childhood, he travels through Devon, grazing on berries and sleeping in copses. Behind him lies the past, and before him the West Country, spread out like a tapestry. But a wanderer is never alone for long, try as he might – and soon Leo is taken in by gypsies, with their waggons, horses and vivid attire. Yet he knows he cannot linger, and must forge on to Penzance, towards the western horizon…
Lottie is at home. Life on the estate continues as usual, yet nothing is as it was. Her father is distracted by the promise of new love and Lottie is increasingly absorbed in the natural world: the profusion of wild flowers in the meadow, the habits of predators, and the mysteries of anatomy. And of course, Leo is absent. How will the two young people ever find each other again?
In The Wanderers, Tim Pears's writing, both transcendental and sharply focused, reaches new heights, revealing the beauty and brutality that coexist in nature. Timeless, searching, charged with raw energy and gentle humour, this is a delicately wrought tale of adolescence; of survival; of longing, loneliness and love.
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.