Troubador The Barefoot Road

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Interview with Steve Lockie

Released: 28/04/2018

ISBN: 9781788038638

eISBN: 9781789010459

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Barefoot Road

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Vivienne Vermes' debut novel is a gripping read that will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction, thrillers and evocative themes. A young woman is found, emaciated and unconscious, in the mountains surrounding a village in Transylvania. When the villagers discover that she is of the same ethnic group that was driven out of the region years before, they are reminded of their part in the bloodshed, and old wounds reopen.  


An uneasy peace is maintained until a young married man falls in love with her, and tensions rise within the community. 

While the story unfolds in the microcosm of a small village in the past, its themes are as universal as they are timeless: the fear of the outsider, the supernatural versus the rational, and the force of desire between man and woman.

Reading in the Blue Belle Cafe in Penge on Sat Oct 7th, 2017, as from 7.30 p.m. as part of the Penge Poets' event.

Reading in Paris with the Paris 17 and a Half Minutes' Writing group in December 2017. Exact date and venue TBA.

Book launch in Paris, 19h30, May 25th, 2018, Berkeley Books, 8 rue Casimir Delavigne, 75006 Paris. Metro Odéon.



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I received this as a review copy from NetGalley. I'm a big fan of historical fiction and this certainly didn't disappoint.

It was also refreshing to read a novel set in Transylvania that doesn't involve vampires, it does still show the fears and superstitions that were rife at the time and how easily peoples opinions can be swayed.

A very good read and I would definitely recommend it to all historical fiction fans.

by Alan Taylor


This book is fabulous! I just finished it and I still have tears in my eyes. Wonderful imagery and poetic prose but best of all is the haunting story! The author is truly a teller of tales. Once I started reading the book, it was impossible to put it down. When I got close to the end, I read slowly slowly slowly so that the book would keep on going…

by Marval Grabner


I've just finished reading The Barefoot Road. I enjoyed it: as an engrossing story; as an account of the clash between different views of the world: those who are welcoming and those who are afraid of others; and as an evocation of a lost rural way of life where the division between human and the natural world was less obvious - people as part of nature rather than separate from it. Vivienne Vermes has a great storyteller's gift!

by Alan Howe


I finished reading "The Barefoot Road" yesterday. It really is a remarkable piece of work. It is incredibly evocative, full of astonishing imagery and so rooted in another time (I imagined the late nineteenth century), another culture, yet also for me mirrored that almost timeless and placeless sense of the village as both a haven and a trap - and a place where small minds can curdle with enmity for that which they don't understand.
They talk about "willing suspension of disbelief" in a movie or a book, and for me I utterly experienced that. For the characters were so real. There was also a great structure to it with that slow but sure, and increasing in tempo, building to the violent and cathartic climax. A great piece of work.

by Stuart White, journalist, novelist and screenwriter


It's an amazing book, full of humanity's vulnerability, love and hate.

by Jane Allen-Brown


Vivienne Vermes

Vivienne Vermes is a British writer and actress of Hungarian and Irish descent who has lived in Paris for thirty years. She has published three collections of poetry, "Sand Woman" (Rebus), "Passages" and "Metamorphoses" (L'Harmattan), performed her work all over Europe, and run creative writing workshops in Greece, Romania and France. She is winner of the Paragram Poetry Prize (2013) and Petite Prose Prize (2016), and of the Mail on Sunday's Best Opening to a Novel competition as well as Flash500's prize for short fiction. As an actress, she recently played Queen Elizabeth 11 in the French comedy film "Les Profs 2", and her voice constantly reminds passengers on the Paris metro to "mind the gap". "The Barefoot Road" is her first novel.

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