As I read a book I look out for the reason for the title. Sometimes it is obvious. At other times the reason is found in the depths of the book, a small sentence which reaches to the core of the meaning of the book.
The title of this book is different. Trespass explores the many meanings of the word e.g. to enter someone’s land or house, to invade someone’s personal space, to enter modes of behaviour which are unacceptable etc
If you look up the word in a dictionary or Google the word you will discover its many meanings.
So the book is, for me, an interesting exploration of the word.
If that doesn’t grab you, let me tell you that it is also a really good read. There’s enough ‘substance’ to the text to keep you turning the pages although it’s not a ‘page turner’ in the usual sense of the phrase.
Is it realistic? Some of you will think that it is not: there are some implausible bits. This did not bother me – after all, it is fiction and a bit of poetic licence is allowed.
Here’s the gist of the tale. In London lives Anthony Verey, a homosexual man in his sixties, a successful dealer in antique furniture whose business is waning and who is feeling low as the end of his life approaches. He decides to go to Southern France where his gardener sister Veronica lives with her partner Kitty, an unsuccessful painter. He decides to buy a property and retire there. He looks at an old house, much in need of renovation, owned by Aramon, an alcoholic elderly farmer, whose sister Audrun lives in a cheap bungalow on the edge of the property. The brother and sister have a sordid, abusive past.
The book centres around these 2 families with other significant characters side-stage. There is a death; or is it a murder?
The author knows this part of France well and this adds to the book – the rocky hilly terrain, the climate with searingly hot dry summers and the Mistral, the dark stone houses, the legacy of the German occupation in WW2, the recent world-wide recession.
I shall say no more. It’s a good read.
I would recommend it.
Shipley Reading Group
This was one of the rare occasions when we were unanimous in liking this book – “an excellent plot” – “a good read” – “tense and atmospheric”. The marks out of 10 were:
9, 9, 8, 9, 8, 9
Burley in Wharfedale Reading Group