Brought up in the Anglo-Welsh borders by an affectionate but alcoholic and feckless mother, Owen Ithell's sense of self is rooted in his long, vivid visits to his grandparents' small farm in the hills.
As an adult he moves to an English city where he builds a new life, working as a gardener. He meets Mel, they have children. He believes he has found happiness - and love - of a sort.
But a tragic accident changes the course of his life and the lives of those he loves is changed forever. Owen is haunted by suicidal thoughts. In his despair, he resolves to reconnect with both his past and the natural world, and with his children he embarks on a long, fateful journey, walking to the Welsh borders of his childhood.
Powerful, richly evocative and perfectly poised between the hope of redemption and the threat of irrevocable tragedy, Landedis Tim Pears' most assured and beguiling novel to date.
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This novel really sang to me....artfully sculpted, more layered, more powerfully elegiac. This is a really beautiful novel. -
Pears is a remarkable prose stylist...Landed offers rich pickings. - The Times
Pears is back on top form in this beautifully crafted story...Thrillingly well-observed...The ending is a powerful blend of poignancy and moral ambivalence... If one of the tasks of a novelist is to open our eyes to the world around us,Pears has executed that task with rare aplomb. - Sunday Telegraph
Beautifully and evocatively written - Scotsman
powerful: it shows the grief that overwhelms a parent at the death of a child and...the darkness that lies beneath the surface of a superficially happy family...There is no denying Pears' achievement in the character of Owen, a raw, desperate man even before he is filled with grief, and his deeply poetic descriptions of an old-fashioned life on the land. - Daily Telegraph
A story of love and fatherhood that almost seems Hardyesque...set against the bucolic splendour of flashback scenes...[Owen's] kidnapping of his children may be shocking but it feels somehow legitimate, and his animal hunger for fatherhood is moving...Landed is a turbulent, haunting story, which forces the reader to examine different perceptions of goodness and responsibility. It explores the fragility of family life, using this to reflect on the opposition between society and the natural world. Pears's prose is quietly mellifluous, particularly when evoking the pastoral, and the multi-perspective device supports the plot well...Landed draws us painfully into Owen's predicament, his teetering between salvation and disaster. - Times Literary Supplement
Tim Pears is the author of five novels: In the Place of Fallen Leaves(which won the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award), In a Land of Plenty, A Revolution of the Sun, Wake Up and Blenheim Orchard. In a Land of Plenty was made into a ten-part BBC TV series. Tim Pears has also received the Lannan Award in the USA. He lives in Oxford.