SHORTLISTED FOR THE WINSTON GRAHAM HISTORICAL PRIZE 2018
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
Lonely and grieving for her exiled best friend, thirteen-year-old Lottie feels a prisoner. Her only solace is her study of the natural world around her father’s estate: the strange profusion of its plants, the beauty and brutality of its predators, its mysterious dances of life, death and survival.
Grazing on berries and sleeping in copses, Leo travels alone through the wild, strange tapestry of the West Country towards Penzance. But a wanderer is never alone for long – and when the gypsy waggons rattle into view, Leo is drawn into a colourful and dangerous world far beyond his imagination.
Goodness, Tim Pears writes beautifully ... The descriptions of rural life, executed with painterly exactness, are a constant delight. The prose really sings * Mail on Sunday * Pears is an exemplary historical novelist with a Romantic eye for nature, and this heady walk through the forgotten lanes of England thrums with life ... Pears takes his place alongside Flora Thompson and Ronald Blythe - even Hardy - as one who teaches us the real nature of country as it used to be -- Melissa Katsoulis * The Times * A novel loud with brilliantly captured voices and vividly drawn characters ... With hypnotic lyricism, Pears describes this bucolic Devon world and the people who inhabit it * Daily Mail * A gorgeously hypnotic paean to rural England ... Pears seems to owe a debt to Cormac McCarthy. The Wanderers is peppered with moments of awestruck wonder at the natural world ... In both this book and its forerunner, the care that has been taken with historical research is obvious; but it is this deeper, subtler layer of reconstruction that sets these moving novels apart -- Melissa Harrison * Guardian * His lyrical but unsentimental portrait of a long-lost rural world, and the characters who are shaped by it, is affecting -- Nick Rennison * Sunday Times * Pears's sumptuous but scrupulous descriptions of the countryside are as evocative as Robert Macfarlane's nature writing and as delicious to savour. The final part of this moving, absorbing odyssey cannot arrive quickly enough * Metro * A classic, knotty and nuanced ... Leo and Lottie step out into the world, and twentieth century rushes up to greet them * Times Literary Supplement * Hypnotic ... Rural living is conjured up exquisitely, the reader sinking into the rhythms of the land. Pears describes a way of life that's infused with an unspoken nostalgia -- Lucy Scholes * BBC Countryfile * Pears's painterly style should keep the reader engrossed. He creates clear-eyed portraits of a lost way of life, and of a people whose traditions were disregarded throughout most of the 20th century. Pears's book is a triumph: a novel for those who - in the words of that old folk song - ain't got no home in this world any more * Sunday Herald *
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