Rose Tremain, known for her historical fiction, takes on a very contemporary subject in The Road Home: the immigrant experience. Lev, a widower in his early 40s, leaves his five-year-old daughter with his mother in a small Eastern European village so that he can go to London to make money to send them. He encounters the expected prejudice and difficulties, and he copes with the expected homesickness for his daughter, his best friend, and a familiar environment, but Tremain hasn’t created a hopeless character. In fact, Lev’s London sojourn gives him the idea and the skills to create a business back in his native country.
The story is not typical of the immigrant experience, perhaps lessening its credibility. But with its well-drawn characters, well-written dialogue, and memorable scenes, The Road Home is a good read all the same.
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