When We Were Romans
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When We Were Romans

3.36 (926 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

When We Were Romans is a haunting psychological novel and another masterful work from the author of the prize-winning English Passengers.Nine-year-old Lawrence is the man of his family. He watches over his mother and his willful little sister Jemima. He is the one who keeps order, especially when his mother decides they must leave their life in England behind because of threats from Lawrence's father. But their new life in Rome does not go as planned. Short of money and living off of his mother's old friends--all who seem to doubt her story--Lawrence soon realizes that things are not what they seem.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 129.54 x 193.04 x 25.4mm | 294.83g
  • Anchor Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0307387860
  • 9780307387868
  • 747,281

Review quote

"Full of restraint and artistic integrity, this is a poignant, haunting and lovely novel." --"Guardian""[Lawrence] is the literary first cousin of Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke . . . The heartbreak and triumph of "When We Were Romans" is that little Lawrence is the real thing." --"Literary Review""Matthew Kneale's lovely novel . . . is narrated by Lawrence with insight, humor and sweetly erratic spelling: it halts and splutters in rhythm with the children's whims and tantrums . . . the author has got inside a young, overburdened mind with convincing accuracy." --"Financial Times""The strength of Kneale's novel is not suspense but Lawrence's delicate sensibility . . . Lawrence's touchingly ingenuous language, his tetchy irritation with his baby sister, and his beleaguered optimism make him a genuinely affecting protagonist." --"Independent ""Substantial and engaging . . .With consummate subtlety and sympathy, Kneale finds metaphorical hinges between the family's unfolding story and Lawrence's two intellectual interests--Roman emperors and astronomy." --"The Times""Lawrence's skillful maneuvering in a tricksy adult world is artfully depicted. His guileless voice only exacerbates the sense of dread, while its deceptive simplicity hides a chilling exploration of mental illness and maternal neglect." --"New Statesman"show more

About Matthew Kneale

Matthew Kneale was born in London, the son of two writers. He is author of numerous prize-winning novels, including the bestselling English Passengers, which won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and was short-listed for the Booker Prize. He lives in Rome.show more

Rating details

926 ratings
3.36 out of 5 stars
5 11% (102)
4 35% (322)
3 38% (350)
2 13% (120)
1 3% (32)
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