Trespass, By Rose Tremain

The lingering damage of child abuse
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The Independent Culture

There's little to fault this exploration of how the harm done to children lingers into their old age, but it's hard to get beyond a sense of horror.

Anthony Verey's glamorous mother would coddle him as a child one minute then push him away: he is now elderly but the memories still hurt. Audrun Lunel is in late middle age too and living in a tumbledown bungalow in southern France.

After the death of her mother she was abused by her brother and father: now that brother wants to sell the land and, with it, her bungalow. Tremain establishes two disturbed individuals with delicacy and accuracy and shows the hope that we cling to that we can change our lives and make the past go away but, somehow, the tragedy fails to move.