Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem only a distant echo. An only child, he lives alone with Emilie, the mother he adores but who treats him with bitter severity. He begins an intense friendship with a Jewish boy his age, talented and mercurial Anton Zweibel, a budding concert pianist.
"Loyalty and Other Human Foibles"
From Rose Tremain comes the Booker Prize short-listed novel that “restored the historical novel to its rightful place of honor” (New York Times). Robert Merivel, son of a glove maker and an aspiring physician, finds his fortunes transformed when he is given a position at the court of King Charles II. Merivel slips easily into a life of luxury and idleness, enthusiastically enjoying the women and wine of the vibrant Restoration age. But when he’s called on to serve the king in an unusual role, he transgresses the one law he is forbidden to break and is brutally cast out from his newfound paradise.
"I Fell Under the Spell"
Trapped in a London flat, Beth remembers a transgressive love affair in 1960s Paris. The most famous writer in Russia takes his last breath in a stationmaster’s cottage, miles from Moscow. A father, finally free of his daughter’s demands, embarks on a long swim from his Canadian lakeside retreat. And in the grandest house of all, Danni the Polish housekeeper catches the eye of an enigmatic visitor.Rose Tremain awakens the senses in this diverse collection of short stories.
"Mixed Bag (but the good stories are really good)"
In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV's Royal Orchestra. From the moment when he realizes that the musicians perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, Peter Clair understands that he's come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death.
"Can Rose Tremain Write a BAD Book?"
In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles leaves him in despair, until a chance encounter with a seductive Swiss botanist allows him to dream of an honorable future. But back home, his loyalty and medical skill are about to be tested to the limit, while the captive bear he has brought back from France begins to cause havoc.
"On Foolishness and Mortality"
This is the summer that Lewis Little, precocious thirteen-year-old, is spending in Paris with his mother, Alice. Alice is translating the latest medieval romance by Valentina Gavrilovich, the bestselling and exotic Russian émigré, Lewis is there to make his first acquaintance with one of the greatest cities in the world; neither can foresee the momentous events that lie in wait for them.
Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from Norfolk to New Zealand in search of new beginnings and prosperity. But the harsh land near Christchurch where they settle threatens to destroy them almost before they begin. When Joseph finds gold in the creek he is seized by a rapturous obsession with the voluptuous riches awaiting him deep in the earth.
"An almost perfect experience"
Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2008, The Road Home is the best-selling story of Lev, a middle-aged migrant from Eastern Europe, who moves to London in search of work after losing his wife and job. Lev's London is awash with money, celebrity and complacency. The world Tremain creates is both convincing and poignant.
"Story interesting but for me it had too much sexi and strong language"
Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland where the horrors of the Second World War seem distant. He adores his mother, but she treats him with bitter severity, disapproving especially of his intense friendship with Anton, the Jewish boy at school. A gifted pianist, Anton is tortured by stage fright; only in secret games with Gustav does his imagination thrive. But Gustav is taught that he must develop a hard shell, 'like a coconut', to protect the softness inside - just like the hard shell perfected by his country to protect its neutrality.
In a silent valley in southern France stands an isolated stone farmhouse, the Mas Lunel. Aramon, the owner, is so haunted by his violent past that he's become incapable of all meaningful action, letting his hunting dogs starve and his land go to ruin. Meanwhile, his sister Audrun, alone in her modern bungalow within sight of the Mas Lunel, dreams of exacting retribution for the unspoken betrayals that have blighted her life. Into this closed world comes Anthony Verey....
"Saved by the amazing Juliet Stevensen"
When a twist of fate delivers an ambitious young medical student to the court of King Charles II, he is suddenly thrust into a vibrant world of luxury and opulence. Blessed with a quick wit and sparkling charm, Robert Merivel rises quickly, soon finding favour with the King, and privileged with a position as 'paper groom' to the youngest of the King's mistresses. But by falling in love with her, Merivel transgresses the one rule that will cast him out from his new-found paradise.
The award-winning Restoration is one of Rose Tremain's most popular works, and showcases her remarkable talent for capturing historical settings and personalities. Set during the English Restoration in the decadent court of King Charles II, the novel weaves a story of corrupted innocence, betrayal, love and hope against a fascinating historical backdrop.
"Sucked me in"
In a silent valley stands an isolated stone farmhouse. Its owner is Aramon Lunel, an alcoholic so haunted by his violent past that he’s let his hunting dogs starve and his land go to ruin. Meanwhile, his sister, alone in her modern bungalow within sight of the Mas Lunel, dreams of exacting retribution for the unspoken betrayals that have blighted her life. Into this closed world comes Anthony Verey, a wealthy but disillusioned antiques dealer from London.
The Restoration is over and Robert Merivel, renowned physician and courtier to Charles II, now faces the anxieties of middle age. Questions crowd his mind: has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King's friend or the King's slave? In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles leaves him in despair, until a chance encounter with a seductive Swiss botanist allows him to dream of an honourable future.
"A Man of All Times, I say!"
Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to Britain, seeking work. But Lev has an outsider's vision of the place we call home. Lev begins with no job, little money, and few words of English. He has only his memories, his hopes, and a certain skill preparing food.
"A special mention for Steven Pacey"
The award-winning Music & Silence is one of Tremain's most popular works. Set in the court of ChristianÿIV of Denmark during the 17th century, it is a beautiful and enduring tale of love, intrigue and betrayal. Part history, part imagination, Music & Silence lyrically evokes the rich tapestry of court life.
Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American woman for whom Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, ended her life as the prisoner of her lawyer who would not allow anyone - friend, foe or journalist - to visit her in her Paris flat. Rose Tremain takes this true story and transforms it into an imaginative and ironic fiction. Her thesis is that Wallis, gaga and bed-ridden, has forgotten the king who gave up an empire for love of her. The other stories in this magnificent collection range over a variety of themes, equally original and unexpected.
Restoration is a panoramic novel of life in 17th-century England, from the restoration of vitality to the empire after the onslaughts of the London fire and the plague, to the restoration of purpose and wakefulness in the life of Robert Merivel, who places his faith in the greatest symbol of a forward-moving era - the King.