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Impossible not to get attached to the protagonist, Lev, who leaves his hometown, young daughter and mother in his East European village where no work is to be found since the local mill has closed down to make his way to London and hopes for prosperity of some form. He finds work in the restaurant business and having made a new friend and a new lover in this big city, dreams up ways to save his loved ones back home. I was worried I wouldn't fall in love with Tremain's contemporary novels the way I've passionately loved her historical fiction (most especially Restoration and Merivel), but needn't have worried: she is a master of prose and has such a deep and special understanding of humanity and its many frailties, that whatever time period she chooses to write about ends up making for timeless stories somehow. 4.75 stars. I would have given it the full 5, only I do strongly favour historical fiction for taking me outside our current world.
Should give a special mention to Steven Pacey, who narrates the audio version. His reading was beautifully modulated and he successfully rendered a range of accents and gave each character a marked and fitting personality. Really wonderful when voice narration adds so much to the reading experience.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
you won't want to turn it off - you can "picture" each character and event
What did you like best about this story?
all round good read
Which character – as performed by Steven Pacey – was your favorite?
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
It is a story of an Eastern European migrant, who comes to London to make money and send back home for his family. You witness the struggle that the central character, Lev, goes through to gain a job, learn English and make friends. There are many colourful charachter that Lev meets in his time in London and with the excellent narration, you are hooked to see how Lev?s life pans out and if he ever goes back home!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
At first glance the plot for "The Road Home" seems familiar and grim; the story of an eastern european migrant in London. But this tale of the challenges and triumphs of the forty year old widower Lev is never 'worthy', but is told with warmth and humor as he encounters england in all its menace and opportunity. The cast of characters are colorful and diverse, from Lev's Irish landlord to the celebrity chef who he ends up working for. All the voices are brilliantly and hilariously interpreted by Steven Pacey making this the best audiobook I have listened to.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about The Road Home?
Rose Tremain's amazing book is rivalled only by Steven Pacey's narration. It is one of the best books I have read in my life. I have withdrawal symptoms since completing it...and just know that it is one of the rare books that I will re-read....or re-listen to!
What other book might you compare The Road Home to, and why?
It's one of those books that holds your attention from page 1. I don't really want to insult the author by comparing it to anything else.
What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
His voice is so compelling. I was afraid when I started listening to books that the narrator would perhaps stress areas that the author had not intended. All I can say is that he is a genius...the accents...intonation...humour...male/female...even a bit of singing...he did it all. Bravo!!
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It made me laugh out very loud on many occasions. Once or twice I did feel a bit sad....but not as sad as I felt when it ended!
Any additional comments?
I might have gone a bit overboard in my comments but I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I have sent it to a friend and she is loving it already. Of course..the downside is that it will spoil me for other books...it's a hard act to follow!