The Road Home

I suppose I have been living an immigrant existence for the past seven years as an Australian resident in the UK.

But it doesn't really feel like it - the two countries obviously have a lot in common even if the weather sucks over here. (Sorry, I couldn't resist it after the summer we've just had.)

Certainly it is nothing like the experience of Lev, the hero of Rose Tremain's latest novel The Road Home.

He is a migrant from a small village in Poland who comes to London to try to earn some money to support his mother and daughter.

Predictably, life for Lev in the UK is a struggle, although through hard work and the kindness of others, he manages to do well for himself.
I read Tremain's Music And Silence a few weeks ago and I have to say that I enjoyed this much more.

Lev himself is such a sympathetic character – you're rooting for him throughout the novel, although he's certainly not such a paragon that he becomes clichéd.

And the story is really well told – as well as a fascinating insight into the lives of the millions of migrant workers in this country, The Road Home holds a mirror up to the shallow, materialistic culture of his adopted country.

The telephone conversations that Lev has with his friend back in his home village contain some brilliant observations on the absurdity of parts of modern western society.

Highly recommended to everyone, but especially those of us who call this small island home.