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A Novel

List Price: $17.95

July 1, 2011 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.2, 240 Pages | ISBN 9781582437293
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“This impressive, skillful novel portrays love and devotion in a unique, haunting way.” —Publishers Weekly

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. There he is deeply impressed by his grandfather’s primitive, cruel relationship with his animals and the land.

As an adult he moves away from the country of his childhood 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 following a car accident, in which his daughter is killed and he loses a hand, the course of his life and the lives of those he loves is changed forever. Owen, unable to work, alienated and eventually legally separated from his family, is haunted by suicidal thoughts. In his despair, he resolves to reconnect with both his past and the natural world. Abducting his children, he embarks on a long, fateful journey, walking to the Welsh borders of his childhood. In his confusion, his journey is a grasping at some kind of an understanding of his powerful loss.

About Tim Pears

TIM PEARS is the author of the novels In the Place of Fallen Leaves, which won the Hawthornden Prize and the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award; In a Land of Plenty, which was made into a ten-part BBC TV series; A Revolution of the Sun; Wake Up; and Blenheim Orchard. Recipient of numerous awards, including the Lannan Literary Award, Pears lives in Oxford.


“Lyrical and melancholic… Rhapsodic in its rural devotion and deftly empathetic in its portrait of Owen… Lovingly crafted.” —Kirkus

“This impressive, skillful novel portrays love and devotion in a unique, haunting way.” —Publishers Weekly

“Like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road without the apocalypse, this story will seize readers’ hearts and have them rooting for the survival of a father and his children on the run. Pears has produced another strong, sympathetic winner.” —Library Journal

Landed is a bleak and brave novel… Like moments of sunshine on a Welsh hillside, shafts of brightness irradiate the gloom, passages of descriptive writing of such clarity that the scents and sounds of lost childhood assail the reader with deep, moving pungency. Pears is a remarkable prose stylist… Landed offers rich pickings.” —The Times

“The story is 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; it is also a rhapsodic account of the pull of the land… 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.” —Telegraph

“Beautifully and evocatively written… The utterly different passages fit together… because the author has from the start a unity of vision, which he successfully conveys to the reader… Emotionally, the book rings true. Owen’s deepening isolation, and inability to understand why this should have happened to him, why a wretched accident (though it may have been his fault) should lead to the disintegration of what had been a happy marriage, and the loss of his children—these states of mind are rendered sympathetically and cogently… There is—can be—no happy ending to his story; yet Pears’s skill is to make us wish that there might be.” —Scotsman

“Reading Landed was a huge pleasure… Artfully sculpted, powerfully elegiac; this is a really beautiful novel.” —Barbara Trapido, author of Frankie and Stankie


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