Book of the Month – November 2018

Hay Festival November Book of the Month

Rose Tremain's The Road Home

Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to Britain, seeking work. Behind him loom the figures of his dead wife, his beloved young daugher and his outrageous friend Rudi. Ahead of Lev lies the deep strangeness of the British: their hostile streets, their clannish pubs, their obsession with celebrity. London holds out the alluring possibility of friendship, sex, money and a new career and, if Lev is lucky, a new sense of belonging...

First published in 2007, just three years after Poland and nine other countries joined the EU, The Road Home offers a view of the UK through a migrant's eyes: inequality looms large as the stresses of chasing status and success in a new country settles on Lev's shoulders. Comic turns and the tug of his homeland drive the novel to a moving and satisfying close, but its rich cast of characters live on beyond the page.

Revisiting the novel in 2018, with migration and the EU at the centre of political debate, The Road Home offers a human perspective often missing from the conversation.

Buy the book

Watch again on Hay Player

Further reading...

My Writing Day by Rose Tremain (2016)

Kirsty Lang talks about The Road Home (2015)

Rose Tremain: Granta interview (2010)

Rose Tremain on Desert Island Discs (1997)

10 Questions with Rose Tremain: Vanity Fair (November 2018)

About the author

Rose Tremain’s novels and short stories have been published in thirty countries and have won several awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Dylan Thomas Award (The Colonel's Daughter and Other Stories), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country). Her most recent novel, The Gustav Sonata, was a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. It won the National Jewish Book Award in the US, the South Bank Sky Arts Award in the UK and was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007. Her autobiography, Rosie, is out now.

More about Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain on stage at Hay Festival
Rose Tremain signing books at Hay Festival

About Hay Festival's Book of the Month

Hay Festival's Book of the Month is our monthly recommendation of a title we've loved and think holds added resonance today. While many recommendations celebrate the new, this is a chance to celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry – new and old – that reaches through time to touch the present.

Throughout the month, we'll share interesting links and articles relating to our selection on social media using #HayBookOfTheMonth and invite you all to get involved with your questions and comments.

Over on Hay Player, a special playlist of talks to view online offer additional perspectives on the books from some of the greatest writers and thinkers around the world.

If you'd like to recommend a book for consideration, please email

Happy reading!