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The Wanderers: The West Country Trilogy, Book 2
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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.

1912. 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.

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Street Date:
05/01/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781635572032
ASIN:
B079516CBY
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APA Citation (style guide)

Tim Pears. (2018). The Wanderers: The West Country Trilogy, Book 2. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Tim Pears. 2018. The Wanderers: The West Country Trilogy, Book 2. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Tim Pears, The Wanderers: The West Country Trilogy, Book 2. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Tim Pears. The Wanderers: The West Country Trilogy, Book 2. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Tim Pears is the winner of a Lannan Prize and the author of ten novels, including In the Place of Fallen Leaves (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award), In a Land of Plenty (made into a ten-part BBC series), Landed (shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2012 and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2011, winner of the MJA Open Book Awards 2011) and, most recently, The Horseman (2017) and The Wanderers (2018), first two books in The West Country Trilogy. In America he has received a Lannan Award. He has been Writer in Residence at Cheltenham Festival of Literature and a Royal Literary Fund Fellow and Reading Round Lector, and has taught creative writing for Arvon, the University of Oxford, First Story and Ruskin College, among others. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He and his wife live in Oxford. They have two children.

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fullDescription

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.

1912. 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.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: Pears's prose ballad.
      • premium: False
      • source: Mail on Sunday
      • content: Goodness, Tim Pears writes beautifully . . . the descriptions of rural life, executed with painterly exactness, are a constant delight. The prose really sings.
      • premium: False
      • source: Saturday Review, The Times
      • content: 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. His unsentimental handling of rural poverty precludes any chocolate boxery, yet his evocation of the land's sounds, smells and tastes are a match for any of the great scribes of the countryside . . . Pears takes his place alongside Flora Thompson and Ronald Blythe—even Hardy—as one who teaches us the real nature of country life as it used to be. The Wanderers is not only a worthy successor to last year's superb The Horseman, but a very fine novel in its own right
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: This elegiac second novel in Pears's West Country Trilogy (after The Horseman) movingly depicts life in the English countryside on the eve of the First World War... this majestic, foreboding novel paints an emotional portrait of a land on the cusp of turmoil.
      • premium: False
      • source: Times Literary Supplement
      • content: A classic . . . Leo and Lottie step out into the world, and twentieth century rushes up to greet them . . . knotty and nuanced.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Sunday Times
      • content: His lyrical but unsentimental portrait of a long-lost rural world, and the characters who are shaped by it, is affecting
      • premium: False
      • source: BBC Countryfile
      • content: 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, as we know how much will change after the Great War, and he cleverly shows things drawing to a close without having to mention the conflict that looms large on the horizon.
      • premium: False
      • source: Midwest Book Review
      • content: The writing is 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, The Wanderers is a delicately wrought tale of adolescence; of survival; of longing, loneliness and love.
      • premium: False
      • source: Glasgow Sunday Herald
      • content: 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 . . . Country life used to be populated by these eccentric gyp
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 5, 2018
        This elegiac second novel in Pears’s West Country Trilogy (after The Horseman) movingly depicts life in the English countryside on the eve of the First World War. Leo Sercombe, banished from the estate where he worked, travels through the West of England seeking relatives, but the need for food and money set him drifting among the local transients, shepherds, and tramps. Leo is a quiet, likeable protagonist; his boyishness, loneliness, and consistent wonder at the natural world enliven the detailed accounts of his everyday labors and odd jobs he gets to keep himself alive. The narrative alternates between Leo and Lottie Prideaux, Leo’s former lover and the daughter of the owner of the estate where he formerly worked. Lottie, too, is isolated and unmoored, frustrated by her nebulous position between adult and child. The novel spans several quiet years during which the teens grow older without any communication or expectation of reunion, and some readers will find the lack of narrative momentum frustrating. But this majestic, foreboding novel paints an emotional portrait of a land on the cusp of turmoil.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2018

        This second volume of Pears's "West Country Trilogy" picks up where The Horseman ends. Young Leo Sercombe has grown up among the workers on the estate of Lord Prideaux. Now exiled from that place and from Lord Prideaux's daughter, and in the period slipping into World War I, Leo takes up with a band of wanderers who "live in an ever on-rolling now." He travels through Devon, living off the land, learning, and above all, observing. He is introduced to the natural world and develops his talent for working with horses, including one exceptional horse that he races to victory on occasion. Meanwhile, there are brief scenes of Lottie Prideaux still on her father's estate, learning some of the same lessons as Leo. By the end of this volume the rumble of war is still being felt only at the edges, seemingly setting up the concluding volume. For those who have ever wondered just how far style can carry a novel, this can serve as Exhibit A. From Thomas Hardy through D.H. Lawrence to John Cowper Powys, the mystical relationship between man and an atavistic nature has served as a crucial component in their work and style. VERDICT Pears's prose ballad manages to make the story, if not new, at least as bracing and possibly as threatening as a Devon stream.--Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 1, 2018
        A teenage boy scrapes a living roaming the southern counties of pre-World War I England as a girl he loves drifts toward maturity in surroundings of insulated privilege.Time passes with slow deliberation in this restless second volume of the West Country trilogy as Pears (The Horseman, 2017, etc.) maintains his commitment to the seasonal and laboring round of a bygone era. The novel picks up where Volume 1 closed, with Leo Sercombe cast out from his childhood home, beaten and bereft. Near starvation, he's rescued by a gypsy family whose adoption develops into a kind of enslavement as Leo works off his debt, initially with chores, later--when reunited with a stunning white colt and using his remarkable equestrian skills--by enhancing the betting in an important race. Meanwhile, Lottie, the 14-year-old daughter of Lord Prideaux, progresses toward adulthood, attending the Derby (an annual British horse race) and developing a passion for biology. Leo's peregrinations serve as a lens through which Pears presents a succession of impoverished vistas--ruined mines, mean farms--and a minutely observed landscape in which the boy scrounges work, learns some skills, makes a few friends, and is robbed of his magical horse. Weather, wildlife, and rural practices are delivered in detail, from how to butcher a deer to the best response when an owl lands on your wrist, talons first. Avoiding conventional plot developments, pulled along instead by the gravity of survival and impending history, the novel closes with a glimpse of 1915, of war and the irreversible social disruption seeping into this panorama split between Leo's poverty and Lottie's luxury.Episodic, instructive, occasionally resonant, this is slow, lambent fiction that pays unsentimental tribute to ways of being now disappeared from the land.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2018
        In this powerful, episodic sequel to The Horseman (2017), Leo Sercombe starts his journey west in June 1912, at the point the first story ended. He is still a teen when he's cast off the Prideaux estate in shame, the result of his love for Miss Charlotte (Lottie), the master's daughter; once a promising young horseman, now merely the son of a carter (the driver of a team of animals), Leo takes to the road, badly beaten, alone, and without resources. Typical of coming-of-age stories, Leo gains manhood and wisdom on his journey, but this deeply engaging rural portrait also captures the essence of England's West Country in the pre-WWI years. The gentle, lyrical style invites readers to wander, as the setting assumes the role of a character, alongside the people Leo meets?gypsies, copper miners, and an elderly homeless man. At the same time, Pears subtly introduces the world's brutality in scenes depicting the butchering of a deer, fistfights, cheating, and instances of injustice and poverty?all dark notes set against the peaceful setting. As Leo travels to Penzance, Lottie finds solace in her studies (especially anatomy) on the estate. Her stubborn curiosity, refusal to conform to a woman's role, and reverence for science are reminiscent of Alma Whittaker in Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things (2013). Thought provoking, homespun, and poignantly drawn from the earth (like Rae Meadows' I Will Send Rain, 2016), this second in a trilogy is an unforgettable treasure and will have readers eagerly anticipating the finale.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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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.

1912. 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...

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