The Horseman Somerset The forces of war are building across Europe but this pocket of England where the rhythms of lives are dictated by the seasons and the land remains untouched Albert Sercombe is a far

  • Title: The Horseman
  • Author: Tim Pears
  • ISBN: 9781632866936
  • Page: 377
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Somerset, 1911 The forces of war are building across Europe, but this pocket of England, where the rhythms of lives are dictated by the seasons and the land, remains untouched Albert Sercombe is a farmer on Lord Prideaux s estate and his eldest son, Sid, is underkeeper to the head gamekeeper His son, Leo, a talented rider, grows up alongside the master s spirited daughtSomerset, 1911 The forces of war are building across Europe, but this pocket of England, where the rhythms of lives are dictated by the seasons and the land, remains untouched Albert Sercombe is a farmer on Lord Prideaux s estate and his eldest son, Sid, is underkeeper to the head gamekeeper His son, Leo, a talented rider, grows up alongside the master s spirited daughter, Charlotte a girl who shoots and rides, much to the surprise of the locals In beautiful, pastoral writing, The Horseman tells the story of a family, a community, and the landscape they come from.The Horseman is a return to the world invoked in Pears first award winning, extravagantly praised novel, In the Place of Fallen Leaves It is the first book of a trilogy that will follow Leo away from the estate and into the First World War and beyond Exquisitely, tenderly written, this is immersive, transporting historical fiction at its finest.

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      Published :2018-010-19T02:26:02+00:00

    One thought on “The Horseman”

    1. Even for someone like me who loves quietly told stories of people and their daily, sometimes mundane lives that I feel tell so much about the human spirit, the first half of this book was a bit too quiet. However, beneath the methodical tending of the land, and the animals, mostly the horses, there is the story of a family, their way of life working hard on the estate of Lord Prideaux. It's a hard life, but one that provides food and shelter and a place for one's vocation in this world of divide [...]

    2. Set in 1911-1912 on the lands of Lord Prideaux in Somerset, Tim Pears’s The Horseman follows the daily rounds of Leopold Sercombe, son of Albert, the estate’s respected carter. For most of the book, the author does not refer to Leo by name; he is simply “the boy”, an almost archetypical figure of pastoral life, keenly observant of the ways of nature and intuitive in his communication with non-human creatures. A reluctant twelve-year-old schoolboy, whose hands feel the teacher’s switch [...]

    3. It took me a while to get into this book. The writing is hard to explain. Once you get to know the characters and the setting of the book it is quite beautiful. It is 1911 in England, Leo is the son of Albert Sercombe, a farmer of Lord Prideaux's estate. The descriptions of everyday life and how everybody works together on the estate is gorgeous without being wordy. There are no spare words and that is what drew me in. It almost has a dreamy quality. Almost. This is the first book in a trilogy. [...]

    4. This writing blew me away and I am so thankful that I spotted this on the shelf at the library. It's one of those books that moves along with short chapters that are seemingly about nothing more than small everyday occurrences in the like of Leo, 12 who lives among the people who work the land and the animals on the farms of a giant estate in England, 1911 where all life is tied to the seasons and the weather. Definitely a "show" vs a "tell" book and I swear at times I could smell/feel the air a [...]

    5. Very detailed which might put some off but the descriptions of farm life are amazing and tender but not syrupy.

    6. Currently in the early part of the book which is beautifully and meticulously written but a little slow. The horse sections are well and accurately written but (and this is only because I've had horses all my life) there is a sense of studied information. When Leo is left at the farrier (blacksmith) with a lame mare so that her foot can be checked out her father takes the other two horses that accompanied this mare back to the farm. There's no mention of horses being separated and how they react [...]

    7. It took me a while to get into this book, but it was well worth it in the end.It is constructed from episodes in lives of the rural inhabitants of a Devon estate. The grouse shoot, ploughing, harvest and threshing, their lives follow a set rhythm of toil as their grandparents' and great grandparent’s did before them. Their place in the world secure and unchanging. The boy, Leopold Sercombe, the son of a carter is the main character. Gifted with horses he is more often a quiet observer than an [...]

    8. Tim Pears’s short novel tells of 15 months in the life of 12 year old Leopold Sercombe, growing up in West Country (the Somerset-Devon border) in 1911. His family live on a farming estate serving the Master (Lord Prideaux) in his manor house doing a variety of jobs around the estate. Leo, skinny, pale and quiet, dreams of a life working on the stud horse farm. He struggles to keep attention in school, his mind wandering to the nature around him, and his passion for horses. One day he meets the [...]

    9. Set in the English countryside in 1911 with extensive detail about the customs of farming at that time. The main protagonist is a 12 year-old boy gifted with superior knowledge of horses.

    10. Wow, didn't see that ending coming. Written with beautiful language. It slowly unfurls over about 2 years time, enveloping you in the slow rhythms of farming in the West Country of England in 1911-1912. The characters are likewise revealed very slowly but quite in depth. I will be watching for the second book and may try one of his others in the meantime.

    11. I received my copy free from in exchange for an honest review.This is a beautifully written account of the lives of the families who live and work on the lands of Lord Prideaux's estate on the Devon-Somerset border around 1911, particularly the family of eleven year old Leo.The book is written in a slow and gentle style and is beautifully descriptive. The characters are all well developed and you feel as if you are there watching the events gently unfold. The novel doesn't shirk from the harder [...]

    12. A beautiful novel that has the same quiet, yet powerful momentum of the seasons that it so brilliantly describes. Pears has an extraordinary gift for writing about and observing nature, the land, horses, life on the farm, life in the home. And I really enjoyed the gentle, eyes wide open humour that is always present. I love the novel's pace and the relationship that Pears creates between Leo and Miss Charlotte. I'm looking forward to the second book in the trilogy.

    13. I am 75 and spend a childhood not that dissimilar to Leo's. My childhood was in a remote Cotswolds village and my brother and I were sort of the village urchins. The pace of life, the few words spoken, and then very much like the Somerset twang resonated with me as I read this engaging book. But we were very different to Leo. We hated and were frightened of horses! The pig killing scene was very familiar and we had our Lord of the Manor. Some things were missing from this Tim's rural idyll, the [...]

    14. It is a story attractively told and in considerable detail. It moves at the pace of life at the time in which the novel is set - until a crescendo of action in the last few pages. The story of the young carter's son is haunting and the more so as we are never privy to his thoughts or emotions.If one seeks an action-packed thriller, this is definitely not the book for you. If, on the other hand, you wasn't a charming introduction to life in the English countryside 100 years ago, Tim Pears' book i [...]

    15. Wow. This little book has such a precise and beautiful sense of time and place - almost insular-looking and, on the face of it, making few allowances for the unprepared reader - that it is initially hard to get into it. But, bit by bit, I was drawn in and right there in every scene with our lead character, young Leo, until the unexpected heartbreaking end. But two further books are promised, so all is not over for himIt doesn't matter if you've no interest in horses. It's not (only) for the hors [...]

    16. Such a beautiful story of a tenant farmer's son who has a way with horses and, yet, is limited by his class in society. Leo befriends the lord's daughter, who also has a way with animals. The friendship of these kindred spirits is lovely but troubling. It is all set in rural England over a century ago and I got thoroughly immersed in the detailed descriptions of the farming life. I think the breaking of the spirited horse really made the point of the book. If you do not fit in to your designated [...]

    17. What a wonderful book this is. The last Tim Pears book I read was a muddle & I thought maybe "The Autumn of Fallen Leaves " which I loved years ago was a one off. But no. This is a slow burner for sure but I was seduced by the landscape & the year turning & the wonderful observations of a way of life that is now gone. It is like a very long poem. The characterisation is beautiful, the relationship between Leo's father & Leo's Uncle. The jibes & subtlety. I know little about h [...]

    18. Such a calm, confident book and not easy to pull off. It's almost a social history recording every fascinating detail in the turn-of-the-century lives of those whose hard physical labour is their fate - the carters, farmers and farriers and stable lads who, with a stoic inevitability, take each day as it comes because there is no other choice. What they do and how they do it, the descriptions of the intricate working and mending of the machines, and the handling and care of the horses makes for [...]

    19. It's 1911 in Somerset, England. Europe may be hearing the drum beats of war but here life goes on as always. Lord Prideaux owns nearly everything. Albert Sercombe is a farmer on the estate & his young son Leo is a talented horseman. Charlotte, the Lord's young daughter, is also an outstanding rider & even shoots with her father & friends. This is the 1st of an intended trilogy taking these youngsters into the First World War & beyond. If you know horses or grew up when harvest wa [...]

    20. Wavering between 3 and 4 stars but settled on 3 mostly because of the pig-kill scene that was too long and added nothing much to the story. What surprised me was my willingness to read something that moved along so slowly as that is normally the kiss of death for a book or at the very least leads to a 2 star rating. In this case, it was required and seemed almost hypnotic as we follow along in the day to day life of Leopold or "the boy" as he is referred to most often.An original approach to a s [...]

    21. I really enjoyed this book. Though its hard to describe I found the writing very concise and the descriptions really detailed. In reality not much really happens in the plot until the end, but the setting is as important as the characters. Basically each chapter is a day in the life, over about a year and a half, of this young boy on a tenant farm in rural England in 1911. The account given of this life, its toils and physical demanding work they all do was fascinating to me, not having grown up [...]

    22. Leo Sercombe is an ordinary young boy who dreams of being a carter, or one who raises and breaks horses for labor. He loves horses and has understood them from an early age. He dreams of working in the stables of the master one day. This book is v.e.r.y quiet and unremarkable even, lost in the day-to-day minutiae of farm labor, the description of farm and wagon parts and horse tack. But I kept reading, not really sure why. Leo intrigued me and I wanted to know what became of him. Then something [...]

    23. The year is 1911 and war has broken out across Europe. Somerset, England remains untouched due to it reliance on the seasons. Albert Sercombe is a farmer on lord Prideaux's estate where his eldest son, Leo, is a master rider who grew up beside the master's spirited daughter. The first part of the trilogy follows Leo away from home and into the First World war. The beautiful pastoral writing ensures the reader will follow the major characters as they change from a small village setting into the l [...]

    24. I have to say I was not impressed. This writer gets an A in writing. He does it beautifully. He gets a C in very long explanations of farm machinery. I enjoy knowing how something works, but there was simply too much unknown vocabulary for me to follow. He gets a Cminus for his dialogue that at times bordered on ununderstandable, if that is indeed a word. And he gets an F for a bad ending. I really felt cheated that I had plowed my way through this lyrically written but tedious book to find the [...]

    25. This descriptive novel paints English country life prior to WWI. The protagonist, a boy on the verge of becoming an adult, is a quiet, introspective observer of all things around him. But he is especially focused on caring and training horses (his father is a carter for the manor). He meets the daughter of the manor lord and they share a love of horses. This is a coming of age novel, but also a picture of the hard life of farm workers in the early 20th century. The book is the first of a planned [...]

    26. This is a book about early-20th-century farming in England. Reading it is like watching grass grow.Almost nothing happens until the book ends with a brief description of an event with calamitous results. Yes, I want to know what happens next, but maybe not enough to read the next book in the trilogy if I'm go to have to sludge my way through so much tedium. I'm glad that I read the Kindle version so that I could just tap on each unfamiliar farming term to get a definition, and I didn't mind the [...]

    27. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Despite a quiet, slow start, this beautifully written and developed book gets better and better the further you read it. Set early in the 19th century, pre WWI, Leo, son of the gamekeeper has an affinity for horses, and follows his experiences with them. Such well developed characters will keep me looking for the next book in this projected trilogy.

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