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by Tim Pears

RRP €18.50

by Author Name Tim Pears

Book details for title
List Price:18.50
Format: Hardback, 223 x 145 x 23mm, 240pp
Publication date: 04 Mar 2010
Publisher: William Heinemann Ltd
ISBN-13: 9780434020072


Brought up in the Anglo-Welsh borders by an affectionate but alcoholic and feckless mother, Owen Ithell's sense of self is rooted in his long, vivid visits to his grandparents' small farm in the hills. There he is deeply impressed by his grandfather's primitive, cruel relationship with his animals and the land. As an adult he moves away from the country of his childhood to an English city where he builds a new life, working as a gardener. He meets Mel, they have children. He believes he has found happiness - and love - of a sort. But following a car accident, in which his daughter is killed and he loses a hand, the course of his life and the lives of those he loves is changed forever. Owen, unable to work, alienated and eventually legally separated from his family, is haunted by suicidal thoughts. In his despair, he resolves to reconnect with both his past and the natural world. Abducting his children, he embarks on a long, fateful journey, walking to the Welsh borders of his childhood. In his confusion his journey is a grasping at some kind of an understanding of his loss.Powerful, richly evocative and perfectly poised between the hope of redemption and the threat of irrevocable tragedy, Landed is Tim Pears' most assured and beguiling novel to date.


"Reading Landed was a huge pleasure, since this novel really sang to me. I can think of nobody who writes with quite such searing beauty, honesty, authenticity and commitment about the British countryside and its small farmers. We are back to the Tim Pears who gave us the memorable In the Place of Fallen Leaves, only this time round we have a book more artfully sculpted, more layered, more powerfully elegiac. This is a really beautiful novel." -- Barbara Trapido "Landed is a bleak and brave novel...Like moments of sunshine on a Welsh hillside, shafts of brightness irradiate the gloom, passages of descriptive writing of such clarity that the scents and sounds of lost childhood assail the reader with deep, moving pungency. Pears is a remarkable prose stylist...Landed offers rich pickings." The Times "The story is powerful: it shows the grief that overwhelms a parent at the death of a child and...the darkness that lies beneath the surface of a superficially happy family; it is also a rhapsodic account of the pull of the land...There is no denying Pears' achievement in the character of Owen, a raw, desperate man even before he is filled with grief, and his deeply poetic descriptions of an old-fashioned life on the land." Daily Telegraph "Beautifully and evocatively written...the utterly different passages fit together...because the author has from the start a unity of vision, which he successfully conveys to the reader...Emotionally, the book rings true. Owen's deepening isolation, and inability to understand why this should have happened to him, why a wretched accident (though it may have been his fault) should lead to the disintegration of what had been a happy marriage, and the loss of his children - these states of mind are rendered sympathetically and cogently...There is - can be - no happy ending to his story; yet Pears's skill is to make us wish that there might be." Scotsman "Pears is back on top form in this beautifully crafted story...At root, it is a book about nature, our yearning to connect with nature, and the emotional damage that results when we lose touch with nature - age-old themes, of course, but also themes sure to resonate with eco-conscious readers in 2010. Structurally, the narrative has a pleasing circularity...Thrillingly well-observed...This is no simplistic eco-parable. The ending is a powerful blend of poignancy and moral ambivalence. But it is a novel in which, thanks to the pared-down beauty of the physical descriptions, the British countryside seems unusually alive. If one of the tasks of a novelist is to open our eyes to the world around us, Pears has executed that task with rare aplomb." Sunday Telegraph