#358 ~ Trespass

Trespass by Rose Tremain

Published by: W. W. Norton & Company

Published on: October 2010

Page Count: 253

Genre: Gothic Fiction

My Reading Format: Audiobook purchased using a gift card

Audiobook Published by: AudioGo

Narrator: Juliet Stevenson

Audiobook Length: 9 hours 51 minutes

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook and Audiobook ~ paperback version due in October 2011

My Review

Two sets of aging brother and sisters, one British and one French, are at a turning point in their lives. Both sets of adult children have been broken in some way by their parents. For Audrun and Aramon, the untimely death of their mother brought out the worst in their father. It is hard to tell who suffered more, the manse he led to near ruin or his children. Aramon inherited the manse when his father died. He no longer can keep it up and, given the outrageous amount people were now willing to pay to live in manse in the Cevennes region of France, he wants to make his own fortune. Audrun inherited some land adjacent to the manse and lives in a tiny cottage within site of the manse. It’s keeping buyers away and Aramon is determined to find some way to get rid of her cottage so that he can sell. For Veronica and Anthony, it was their mother who cut them so deeply. When his once premier antiques shop is no longer viable, Anthony is terrified. He has no identity without his reputation and he feels as though the entire world is sending him out to pasture. In a desperate grasp at some sort of relevance, he decides to close his store and find a place to retire in France. He calls on his older sister Kitty more for refuge than anything else. Veronica moved to France near Cevennes where she lives with her lover, Kitty. She is content to be removed from her childhood, but she never stopped feeling responsible for her younger brother’s happiness. Despite the anomosity between Anthony and Kitty, Veronica encourages her brother in his pursuits, letting him live with her indefinitely. In this dark novel, no one avoids being scathed by the inevitable clash.

Trespass is an example of why I love Gothic fiction. There is a mysterious darkness is present from the first words. The characters were conceived within it. The antique shop, the manse, Kitty’s bungalow and Aundrun’s cottage seeped it up through the soil and through this history of everyone who had ever entered. The siblings are intriguing, but the dwelling places they inhabit are even more so. Despite all of the human drama surrounding them, they are stoic in the knowledge that they will long outlast the current tenants. They define their inhabitants and show what they know to the world.

Trespass is one of my all time favorite audiobooks. The combination of story and narrator was so perfect it almost made me cry. It’s the type of listening experience that affirms one’s love of audiobooks. Juliet Stevenson simply dazzled me. Each of the characters were voiced perfectly, but it was her Aramon that I will carry with me. The first time he became upset, I was mesmerized. With this narration, she did for me what Simon Vance did for me with the Stieg Larrson series. Were she and Simon Vance to narrate a novel together it would be nirvana. Juliet Stevenson is one of the great audiobook narrators. I would challenge anyone who doubts the power of audiobooks to pick up a copy of Trespass. I have no doubt that conversions will take place.

Rose Tremain and Juliet Stevenson are two of the brightest literary gems I’ve discovered this year.


  • At 2011.08.25 12:46, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

    You’ve sold me! I looked to see if our library has this on audio, but they don’t. 🙁

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    • At 2011.08.25 14:58, amanda said:

      Funny I just finished reading this book. I actually picked it up in paperback when I was in England. In the end I really liked it but I had a hard time getting into it at first. I found the characters to not be very likeable which is always a sticking point for me. But as the book moved on I found myself getting more and more involved with them and in the end actually liking a few of them. I imagine it was a good one for audio. I used to have a commute and I listened to a few audiobooks. I noticed that you listen to alot of books. Do you do this in the car? I found I had a hardtime paying attention if I was just sitting on my couch. Anyway good review. I’m going to look for some more books by her.

      • At 2011.08.25 15:03, Jennifer said:

        Amanda, I’ve really gotten into audiobooks over the last couple of years. I mainly listen in the car, but I also listen while I work on crafts, etc… If I’m not doing anything, print is better for me, though. I understand that. I’ve got to tell you that Juliet Stevenson was so phenominal. Those scenes where Aramon loses it? Incredible! Thanks so much for your comments. I’m glad you ended up enjoying this one.

        Kathy, I lent Jenn from Jenn’s Bookshelves my copy. Hit her up when she’s done. 🙂

        • At 2011.08.25 16:10, Jen - Devourer of Books said:

          You did a fabulous job with this review, I had the hardest time explaining what on earth the book was about!

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          • At 2011.08.25 19:43, Amy said:

            Rose Tremain is one of the authors on my list of authors I must read. In this case I must listen to Trespass! You’re review is fantastic and totally sold me on this book especially since I’ve wanted to read more Gathic Fiction as well!

            • At 2011.08.25 23:02, jenn aka the picky girl said:

              Wow. Every bit of this sounds like something I will love. One of your all-time favorites? Dang. I’m glad my Audible credits renew in 12 days. TWELVE whole days.

              • At 2011.08.26 01:50, Amanda said:

                I read her book The Colour a while back and wasn’t impressed. I mean – great writing but found there was some stuff I just didn’t think needed to be in there. But this ones sounds pretty good. I love Gothic books. Especially during the Fall.

                • At 2012.03.30 09:23, dog eared copy said:

                  I know you’ve been preaching the word on this audiobook for awhile; but it finally penetrated my thick skull that I need to listen to this audiobook! Juliet Stevenson earned a couple of APA Audie nominations for Best Solo Narration – Female in 2011 (for The Magician’s Elephant by Kate diCamillo and The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing) and; Simon Vance has expressed respect and admiration for her work as well! Trespass sounds like an outstanding audiobook experience on the order of The Thirteenth Tale (by Diane Setterfield; narrated by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner): very tense in mood and Gothic in style. I’m putting it on my TBL list now 🙂

                  (Required, will not be published)

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