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"The Road Home" by Rose Tremain

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There is a very great deal that grows out of this immigrant saga; it's nothing less than one would expect out of Ms. Tremain. Our hero, Lev, leaves an impoverished Russian town for the glitz and glamor of London. Eventually he shows good aptitude in food service and dreams of opening a high-end restaurant back in his home town.

In London he learns about good product and good service, two things that have been lacking back home. He teaches as well. Those around him always come to like and admire him; he's a credit everywhere he goes. He finds and loses love; he earns a big enough settlement to seed his dream restaurant. So the road home leads through the lessons of London so Lev ("levitate"?) can return to his roots.

We have memorable secondary characters here: the ruthless London restaurateur who comes to respect Lev, the shallow love interest, the wild-man taxi-driver/entrepreneur in Russia. Tremain gives us her warm, bright humanity and her wisdom here. She continues to be one of my very favorite authors.
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