This is the third in the West Country Trilogy and it is definitely a three-act story.
Here’s the blurb …
The final instalment in Tim Pears’s spellbinding chronicle of love, exile and belonging in a world on the brink of change Selected as a book of 2019 by the Guardian, Scotsman and The TimesIt is 1916. The world has gone to war, and young Leo Sercombe, hauling coal aboard the HMS Queen Mary, is a long way from home. The wild, unchanging West Country roads of his boyhood seem very far away from life aboard a battlecruiser, a universe of well-oiled steel, of smoke and spray and sweat, where death seems never more than a heartbeat away. Skimming through those West Country roads on her motorcycle, Lottie Prideaux defies the expectations of her class and sex as she covertly studies to be a vet. But the steady rhythms of Lottie’s practice, her comings and goings between her neighbours and their animals, will be blown apart by a violent act of betrayal, and a devastating loss.In a world torn asunder by war, everything dances in flux: how can the old ways life survive, and how can the future be imagined, in the face of such unimaginable change? How can Leo, lost and wandering in the strange and brave new world, ever hope to find his way home? The final instalment in Tim Pears’s exquisite West Country Trilogy, The Redeemed is a timeless, stirring and exquisitely wrought story of love, loss and destiny fulfilled, and a bittersweet elegy to a lost world.
I found this one fascinating -I had no idea about the scuttling of the German fleet, or the effort to raise these ships again. Or the fact that all steel manufactured after world war two contains radiation (from Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and so these ships are some of the last ‘pure’ steel left in the world.
It is a beautiful story, full of detail of a vanishing world. Horses replaced by tractors and fewer men required to work the fields.