In a silent valley stands an isolated stone farmhouse, the Mas Lunel. Its owner is Aramon Lunel, an alcoholic 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 ...
In a silent valley stands an isolated stone farmhouse, the Mas Lunel. Its owner is Aramon Lunel, an alcoholic 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 Cevenol world comes Anthony Verey, a wealthy but disillusioned antiques dealer from London. Now in his sixties, Anthony hopes to remake his life in France, and he begins looking at properties in the region. From the moment he arrives at the Mas Lunel, a frightening and unstoppable series of consequences is set in motion. Two worlds and two cultures collide. Ancient boundaries are crossed, taboos are broken, a violent crime is committed. And all the time the Cevennes hills remain, as cruel and seductive as ever, unforgettably captured in this powerful and unsettling novel, which reveals yet another dimension to Rose Tremain's extraordinary imagination.
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Publishers Weekly, 2010-08-09 Two pairs of siblings and their twisted pasts converge in this gripping, dark novel from Orange Prize-winner Tremain (The Road Home). In the southern French Cevennes region, Audrun lives a peaceful if bitter life in a small bungalow a stone's throw from her family home. She's been cast out, either by inheritance or some terrible transgression; her drunken, spiteful brother, Aramon, who still resides there, hopes to sell the home to foreign tourists, an act that would further uproot Audrun. Meanwhile, Anthony Verey, a once-renowned London antiques dealer, having reached an existential precipice, descends on his sister, Veronica, who lives near the Cevennes with her lover, Kitty. As Anthony and Kitty quietly battle for Veronica's affections, Audrun and Aramon struggle with their history and land. Anthony wants a home in the region, hoping it will fill his void, and he joins the wave of foreigners hungrily circling the area. Soon, a series of rash decisions impacts all of their lives in brutal, unforgettable ways. Tremain renders this untamed area with haunting prose, but the affecting sense of dread she builds makes her tale at times unrelentingly grim. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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