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25 years on from its first publication this classic novel from the Orange prize-winning author of The Road Home and Restoration is reissued with a bold new look

With an Introduction by Peter Tatchell

We're all something else inside…

1952. Standing in a cold Suffolk field with her family, six-year-old Mary Ward has a revelation: I am not Mary. That is a mistake. I am not a girl. I'm a boy.

So begins Mary’s heroic struggle to change gender. Moving from the claustrophobic rural community of the 1950s to London in the swinging Sixties and beyond to the glitter of America in the Seventies, Sacred Country is the story of a journey to find a place of safety and fulfilment in a savage and confusing world.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian


A remarkable novel

The Times

A major book

Daily Telegraph

Tremain is superb


Funny, absorbing and quite original. I've read nothing to touch it this year

Literary Review

Sacred Country is a book that we give to our friends and are glad to have read…it makes us look forward to Ms. Tremain’s other books with hungry pleasure

New York Times

A remarkable novel

The Times

A major book

Daily Telegraph

Hypnotic... Curiously beautiful and strikingly original


Brilliant. A strong, complex, unsentimental novel

Times Literary Supplement

Rose Tremain writes comedy that can break your heart-Funny, absorbing and quite original. I've read nothing to touch it this year

Literary Review

A remarkable novel - the product of a truly original mind, whose inventions are magically unforeseeable

The Times

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Formats & editions

Also by Rose Tremain

Restoration (Vintage Past)
The Gustav Sonata
The American Lover
Evangelista's Fan (Storycuts)
How It Stacks Up (Storycuts)
The Darkness of Wallis Simpson (Storycuts)
Peerless (Storycuts)
The Road Home
The Darkness Of Wallis Simpson
The Swimming Pool Season
The Garden Of The Villa Mollini
The Colour
Music & Silence
Sadler's Birthday
The Colonel's Daughter
The Cupboard
Letter To Sister Benedicta
Evangelista's Fan
The Way I Found Her


The Tea Gardens
The Award
An Uncommon Woman
Tulip Fever
Beauty in Thorns
The Drover's Wife
Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition
Life After Life
One of the Family
Private London
Suite Francaise
For the Winner
The Shogun's Queen
Saviour of Rome
The Beautiful Dead
A Country Road, A Tree