This is a quietly beautiful, engaging, vivid book The life and people of the southern English countryside leap off the page in full colour But there is plenty space to breathe, to think Early on in the book one of the characters remarks that some townsfolk are so used to noise that they cannot here the trees speak In this book you can hear the trees speak.This has a different sort of magic than the first in the trilogy Torn from his place on the land when he was born, Leo s life no longer follows the stable rhythm of the farming year This is a hypnotic meandering journey across the west country as the boy grows up Lottie s story is full of foreboding, her sense of loss amplified as her life on the Estate is set to change forever.I feel Tim Pears must have done a huge amount of research to create such a authentic feel to even the most minor characters that inhabit his story They are real and complex people, following a tradition that has now largely disappeared, to see the world from their viewpoint is a real treat But most of all it is the writing that makes this book so special Exquisitely paced and never dull, it is full of nuanced detail and rhythmically beautiful This is a book that you can disappear into. High praise indeed from me for the second book in Pears s West Country Trilogy It is a novel of stark contrasts as the story alternates between Leo and Charlotte in the years between 1912 and 1915.At 13 Leo is headed alone towards his mother s birthplace, Penzance without giving any spoilers from the first book As he passes through the Bodmin and Dartmoor areas he lives with a family of gypsies, works on at what remains of an abandoned tin mine it was the time when the workforce moved north to the iron and coal mines of Cumbria , then lives wild in a wood with a hermit for a while Charlotte meanwhile, continues her education in the home of her father, Lord Prideaux Personally I found this as enjoyable, if not a bit , thanThe HorsemanThis is less character driven, and held together by both youngsters experiences in the country, particularly Leo, who lives outdoors, his education is as full as Charlotte s, but one of what we would call these days bushcraft, and survival skills As with the first book of the trilogy there are some passages of outstanding writing, Pears writes so well about nature While Leo is at the Okehampton fair, with horses racing bareback and bare knuckle boxing, Charlotte is at the Epsom Derby The Orchard family of gypsies that Leo becomes part of come across a rival band, the Penfolds, at the Okehampton fair, and trouble breaks out,He ll never amount to no n a piece of shite and the same goes for the lot of you You re the biggest liar that ever stood on two feet Look at youchewing your tobbaca like a sheep chewing it s cud Your old woman there looks a sour as a crab apple tree All your women chatter like magpies Look at yourself, Samson Orchard, you re a big man with a small heart, and you re good for nothin You re a large puddin with nought in it, so you areThe few chapters that relate to the boy staying with the hermit Rufus are particularly special I am sure it will be one of the highlights of my reading year The big question is, with the World War looming, can the final book of the trilogy live up to the first two, I very much look forward to it. The Powerful Second Novel In Tim Pears S Acclaimed West Country Trilogy Two Teenagers, Bound By Love Yet Divided By Fate, Forge Separate Paths In England Before World War I Leo Sercombe 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 The Woods 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 Wagons, Horses, And Vivid Attire Yet He Knows He Cannot Linger, And Must Forge On Toward The Western Horizon Leo S Love, 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 Humor, This Is A Delicately Wrought Tale Of Adolescence Of Survival Of Longing, Loneliness, And Love And now I must wait to see what becomes of Leo, Lottie, the white horseHope the wait is a short one The Horseman, the first part of Pears s West Country trilogy, pretty much disappeared without trace when it was published last year And that was despite it being critically acclaimed The Wanderers, the trilogy s second instalment, will likely face the same fate Why Because, like its predecessor, The Wanderers can t be rushed The story of farm boy Leo s travels just before the First World War may well be, at heart, a road trip but The Wanderers is all about the journey not the destination Pears s sumptuous but scrupulous descriptions of the countryside are as evocative as Robert Macfarlane s nature writing and as delicious to savour The book ends before Leo s trajectory back to Lottie, his love from the first novel, has become clear the final part of this moving, absorbing odyssey cannot arrive quickly enough. The Wanderers by Tim Pears is rather an interesting book The title suits the story perfectly and you yourself feel that you have become a part of the book When you start with the book, all the scenes start scrolling like a movie in front of your eyes The entire scenic beauty has been described very minutely, one can literally picture the story in which Leo scrounges work, learn some skills, makes a few friends, and is robbed of his magical horse.From taming any wildlife to rural practices, everything is delivered in detail The beautiful part is to witness how Leo s character is developed From a timid boy to a person who has seen rough time, and that change has been showcased in a very miraculous manner The curse as per me between Leo s poverty and Lottie s luxury can be felt throughout There is a base of history surrounding the time period of 1912 1915 but the good thing is that the history of 1912 will not overwhelm you The novel gives you a close glimpse of 1915 war and the social conflicts of rich poor.To be honest, I found the book a little intense and a bit slow, maybe cause I am not really used to with such descriptions but even though saying that, I did admire the book What I really liked about the book cover and the title was the way it described the book in one go Once you complete the novel, you understand the reason for the boy sitting on a horse in a lonely field The writing is smooth and the descriptive way in which the author, Tim Pears has written shows how wide his imagination can go.This is a book to be kept as a collection piece, although I haven t read the first part, The Horseman, it was very easy to relate what could have happened I am surely looking forward to the last part. Second in a trilogy, The Wanderers stands on its own in this British pastoral Displaced youth, Leo is coming of age among ranchers, miners, the gypsy life and various animals All the while scientific minded Charlotte is stuck at home, struggling with life as the manor s dainty daughter missing her friend Leo This book is than a child s love story it is a tale of the enduring love of life.this is not a part of the review, this is loveLong have I wished to be a sailor To quote John Mansfield I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull s way and the whale s way, where the wind s like a whetted knife And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover, And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick s over So that upon reading Tim Pears Wanderers have I this burning desire for the British pastoral and this new fangled idea of the vagrant gypsy life. The Wanderers is actually the second book of a trilogy, but you don t need to have read the first to enjoy Tim Pears s writing, or to become fully immersed in the world he recreates This volume is set in Devon and Cornwall in 1913, as Leo Sercombe is cast out of his home on the Prideaux estate in Devon for some crime which remains unspecified This is where having read book one, The Horseman, might be handy, but as the plot of The Wanderers doesn t concern itself overly with what happened in the past, I found it didn t noticeably dim my understanding of the book Pears gives the reader two perspectives Leo s, as he journeys across the West Country, making his way slowly towards Penzance, and that of Lottie, Lord Prideaux s daughter and Leo s former playmate Leo s sections read like slow motion picaresque in a minor key, with awe and respect at the beauty of the natural world taking the place that humour and the grotesque usually occupy in that genre He spends time with gypsies Romany travelers , Cornish tin miners, and a vagabond named Rufus who served in the Second Boer War Lottie s story, meanwhile, follows a Bildungsroman arc, as her father remarries and Lottie fights to pursue an intellectual fascination with anatomy and dissection What saves this arc from being a tired feisty girl trope is Pears s ability to express, sensitively and subtly, Lottie s deep grief at Leo s disappearance, and her isolation from her father and from any friends her own age His writing, both about nature and about the complexities of the human heart, is delicate and precise and always slightly oblique he is the master of presenting a situation or a piece of dialogue without comment, and letting the reader conclude what she will I m shocked that I haven t read his work before now. Warning do not read this book, which is 2 in a trilogy, unless you have read the first The Horseman is book 1.That one was good, this one is excellent It s a progression in time month to season Here at the beginning, Leo is turning 14 He s just about as old as the century As it enters 1915 near the ending, you will not believe all that has happened within these nearly couple dozen months.England and the western districts he is always heading for Cornwall are superbly drawn The nature writing surpasses anything I have read placed England and particularly for that period of farming, livestock, poultry keeping, bounties or not of the land Class distinctions, not only in economic resource and attrition values, but in all senses layered Finely, crudely, for faith and moral connections or not But all clearly unpeels layer by layer in actions and witness Not half as much in conversations or abstract word flings between the hubris But nevertheless in vast investigation of that time, that place, the minds and bodies of Leo and Lottie Different places and never met during these wanderings And where has the white colt been lead to wander too Taken away by another in the night.I find I will have to wait for book 3 and it may be some time Oh what anticipation Excellent tale of reality eyes in a time when childhood was not defined in years And learning was often far, far from any school room or library And in which freedom of no owning and abandoned loyalties and disconnection lead to quite other lessons Some of the dire and painful supreme Others of bountiful sharing and stranger protection But almost nothing of stable continuity.Thieves, scoundrels, fools with know better directives, mute kindness or sharing, animal partnering and animal tooth and claw a full spectrum of types They adhere and then they don t But always an end goal And the struggle for food and for shelter.I ve read books of this scale of wandering before, but never for English districts It s always been on other continents, and especially in the North American South or West Geography so different, but the natural world here so much groomed settled or not The voice of Lottie portions were point on for her thoughts and actions too, especially upon the changed relationship with her father s marriage and her interests in the biologic Somehow the duck trade help she is giving too, near the ending it puts her at increasing disparity with her class and station You know with the war it will all change Where will that interest in the medical and bodies lead And always you know too, her absolute surety and the waiting for his return.Read these, but only in order They are very gritty and specific And also a sublime insight too into the roamers and gypsy Romany culture of that period and those places But regardless of the gristle of the subject matter, the prose is bursting like just broken buds Made me wonder what badger fat smells like No, I m sure I don t want to know. Note A copy of the book was provided in exchange of an honest review This is an uncorrected proof edition s quotes, so they can be subject to change Would love to thank BloomsburyIndia for sending the copy Review Holy Guacamole I really liked this book a lot Funny thing is though that I haven t even read the first book in the series.4 stars The Wanderers, which is the second book in Pear s West Country Trilogy, is a world which isn t written about a lot It is set almost at the cusp of World War one, with a lot of foreshadowing I wasn t able to get my hands on the first one, so I had to continue and make sense of the second one Luckily there is no cohesive plot as such, and the book doesn t boast much in terms of action Then drops of rain appeared on the water If you watched closely, each drop seemed not to fall from above but rise from beneath the surface However, the writing is wonderful Novels set in the pre war era are so rare and disengaging, that I was almost expecting the same, especially when I realised it won t be anything like Downton Abbey I am glad to say I was taken by surprise The world before the war has always fascinated me Reading Lottie s picturesque estate and the time Leo spends with the gypsies, was so starkly different from the modern world that it felt unreal There was always a sense of dread, as Leo and Lottie are from a generation that is going to witness the most gruesome war, and maybe even both of them Historical fiction always makes one uncomfortable, because as readers you might be aware of the fate, like Jamie s in Outlander, or Isabelle s in The Nightingale, but you still keep reading on They each stood and watched whatever was growing larger, approaching them through the air Bearing down upon them, flying low and fast along the ridge, straight as arrows The characters are both, detached and the center of the novel I liked Leo s bits a bit It was refreshing to see him grow into a young man, although I won t call this a bildungsroman Even with Lottie you can see the first signs of the suffragette movement Both are very historically accurate as characters, which will make the third installment very painful for me to read.Lastly I want to talk about the writing It gave me a sense of reading a writer from the early 20th century Pears writing is evocative and mesmerising You are with Leo as he runs away on his horse, from the Gypsies And then you are with Lottie at her father s wedding You stand by these characters and you witness their feelings first hand With their childhood naivet and their tragic fates There wasn t much of romance in the story, so I wasn t rooting for them, however I liked these characters much as individuals, connected by the sense of an approaching doom One of the characters tells Leo, that the wars won t happen because trading countries don t fight and as a 21st century reader that line felt terrifying Memories are pinches of gunpowder, thrown into the flames, they ignite and explode I would definitely recommend this book to everyone In the world of fiction, where everything is being dominated by fast pace writing, this is one slow, beautiful and terrifying read If not for the characters, read the novel for the words Samidha.
Born in 1956, Tim Pears grew up in Devon and left school at sixteen He worked in a wide variety of unskilled jobs trainee welder, assistant librarian, trainee reporter, archaeological worker, fruit picker, nursing assistant in a psychiatric ward, groundsman in a hotel caravan park, fencer, driver, sorter of mail, builder, painter decorator, night porter, community video maker and art
- 384 pages
- The Wanderers
- Tim Pears
- 19 November 2019 Tim Pears