Quarantine. Italian style (Coronavirus)
Location(s): Cornwall, Devon
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical
The beautiful, questing second novel in Tim Pears’ acclaimed West Country trilogy
1912. Leo 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 copses. 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 waggons, horses and vivid attire. Yet he knows he cannot linger, and must forge on to Penzance, towards the western horizon.
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 humour, this is a delicately wrought tale of adolescence; of survival; of longing, loneliness and love.
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