Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Road Home by Rose Tremain (Jill)

The Road Home
By Rose Tremain
Completed September 27, 2008

The Road Home was the Orange Prize winning novel by Rose Tremain – a story of Lev, a Russian immigrant living in London. Lev immigrated to Britain after the mill in his village closed, leaving him without a means to support his mother and daughter. The decision to leave his family was a hard one, but soon Lev discovered that his journey to survive in London would be even harder.

Lev’s journey led him to a renowned restaurant where he discovered two newfound passions: cooking and Sophie. Lev watched as the chefs prepared their meals, learning every ounce in hopes that he too would become a chef. Sophie worked in the kitchen, and with her, Lev learned that he could feel love and passion again as he dealt with the sudden death of his wife, Marina.

The Road Home superbly discussed the hardships and the making of one’s way in a new country. It also dealt with the themes of home. “Home is where you heart is,” as the saying goes, but it also is where you are at that moment, even if it’s a temporary arrangement.

The most profound aspect of The Road Home for me was the excellent characterization created by Tremain. Lev was so human – fallible one minute, honorable the next. Filled with selfishness and then selflessness, he was the type of guy you could root for, despite his mistakes. Other male characters also livened up the story. Rudi, Lev’s best friend in Russia, was funny, rude and vulnerable, dependent on Lev’s admiration and friendship to help him live a better life. Christy was Lev’s landlord – a high-spirited Irish man, suffering from a divorce and the custodial loss of his daughter. It was a delight to read about such interesting men – they really made this story.

This is my second Tremain book, and while I enjoyed The Colour a little more, The Road Home was smart and provocative with memorable characters. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a good character-driven story, and I look forward to reading more from this talented storyteller. ( )


Jannie Funster said...

Where can I find the book?


Wendy said...

Jannie: This book was released this year. I would think most book stores would carry it, or could order it for you. You can also find it on and

mimi11460 said...

Very inspiring too beautiful story I wish i can get a copy and read it..Thanks for the visit..