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The powerful second novel in Tim Pears's acclaimed West Country trilogy. Two teenagers, bound by love yet divided by fate, forge separate paths in England before World War I.
1912. Leo Sercombe 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 the woods. 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 wagons, horses, and vivid attire. Yet he knows he cannot linger, and must forge on toward the western horizon.
Leo's love, 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 humor, this is a delicately wrought tale of adolescence; of survival; of longing, loneliness, and love.