Trespass by Rose Tremain – Audiobook Review

Trespass by Rose Tremain, narrated by Juliet Stevenson
Published in audio by AudioGo, published in print by W. W. Norton & Co


We know the ways that our pasts, flaws, and foibles change the courses of our own lives, but perhaps we think little about the ways in which they can influence, and even devastate the lives of others, even when our paths cross only tangentially. Such is the case when two pairs of siblings, both with painful and damaging pasts happen to have their lives intersect in the south of France. Veronica and her lover, Kitty, have been living in CĂ©vennes for years, but their simple domestic life of painting and gardening is disrupted when Veronica’s brother Anthony, who is having financial troubles in England, comes down to stay. When he decides he would like to relocate to France, tensions get even higher. Equally fraught is the relationship between Audrun and Aramon, natives of France. Their childhood was, shall we say, less than ideal after the death of their mother, and their interactions grow even more tense after Aramon declares his intention to sell their family home. With Anthony looking to buy and Aramon to sell, it is only to be expected that their paths should cross, but the results of that crossing are decidedly atypical.

Thoughts on the story:

Although not exactly a mystery, Tremain tells a suspenseful yet character-driven story in “Trespass.” We know from the opening scene that something terrible has happened, although what exactly that is will only slowly become apparent over the course of the book. It is a complex tale, but not overly so. The pacing, plotting, and prose were all extremely well handled, but the real highlight of the book was the character development. Not a single one of the characters in “Trespass” was a particularly likable human being. They were selfish, self-involved, rude, snobby, and occasionally abusive. In such a psychological, character-driven novel such as this, that can be quite a problem. However, they were so realistically and tragically flawed, that their petty incivilities failed to be a turn-off. Instead, the reader is drawn into their story to find out exactly what bad thing happened, and why.

Thoughts on the audio production:

At the beginning of “Trespass,” I had a bit of a hard time keeping all of the characters straight in audio, because Tremain included a number of relatively short scenes with each of them. I must say, I really wasn’t sure what was going on – actually, I’m not sure I would have been with print, either – but it didn’t matter one bit, because of Juliet Stevenson’s amazing narration. For more, see my review for Audiofile Magazine.


Fascinating and suspenseful, “Trespass” is a masterful psychological novel, although not one for those easily offended by sex and dysfunction.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio/Print*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound: Print*

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: AudioFile Magazine.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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11 comments to Trespass by Rose Tremain – Audiobook Review

  • Glad to know they had a good narrator – I enjoyed this book (print) very much, an excellent voice could really add to the drama and the suspense I think.

  • This one has been on my radar for awhile but thus far has not gotten me so excited that I have actually searched for a copy. Your review makes me think I would really appreciate the writing.

  • Hmmm, I wonder if this is one I’d like better in print than audio– I have a hard time with audio books with main characters I don’t like, even when I’m interested in them.

    I’m glad it worked for you!

  • Woo hoo! I have Internet for a day! Love the new meme. I’ll try to remember to join each week. It can be really hard to keep up when there are many characters, but usually the important ones will rise to the top. I don’t mind dysfunction. I’ll keep this one on my radar.

  • Sounds interesting, yet confusing. I would probably have the audio version to keep better track of the characters.

  • I have this one on audio but I have not listened to it yet so I’ve only scanned your review enough to catch ‘fascinating and suspenseful’ – sounds good.

    Love the new meme and happy to have a review to link this week. Can we use the button on our audio reviews in the future if we’re going to link them? I’ll be targeting my audio reviews for Fridays when I have them.

  • Trespass was audiobook gold. Juliet Stevenson is one heck of a narrator. This is one of my all time favorite audiobooks.

  • I was a little late catching on to the meme, so your button doesn’t appear on the last review I did; but going forward… I post my audiobook reviews on Thursdays at the latest; but will link up first thing on Friday mornings :-)

  • The part of your review where you mention the confusing beginning has me a little concerned; but this audiobook has come so highly recommended, in no small part because of the narration, I’m going to go for it and finally put it on my TBL list!

    • There are just a bunch of different characters and story lines and initially it is not clear how/if they well come together, but the narration is amazing enough that it kept me going until the pieces of the story came together.