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An irresistible novel from our number one bestselling author.
Joanna Trollope is the author of eagerly awaited and sparklingly readable novels often centred around the domestic nuaunces and dilemmas of life in present-day England. She has also written a number of historical novels and Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire. oanna Trollope was born in Gloucestershire and now lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.
Just as one has forgotten the intense pleasure of reading Trollope, along comes another flawless novel. Her best-selling status (in England) doesn't begin to convey the accuracy and intensity with which she portrays the outer and inner lives of the English middle class. In her latest novel (after Other People's Children), she explores the repercussions on the members of a family when Guy Stockdale, 62, leaves his wife of 40 years for a woman of 31--younger than his sons--with whom he's been having a seven-year affair. The unforeseen demands that the breakup places on son Simon, his wife, and their three children--and even on Guy's wife-to-be--are almost too much for them to bear. Ultimately, the "marsh of obligations owed and demanded and expected" loosens its grip, shifting loyalties and forging new bonds among members of the family. Trollope never gives her characters, or her readers, easy answers, but her astute observations cast her as a modern-day Austen. Essential. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/00.]--Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal" Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
In her latest tale, about a May-December romance and its effects on the individuals and families involved, Trollope again displays her extraordinary gift for representing the intricacies of familial relationships and the vicissitudes of domestic life. British Judge Guy Stockdale, of the Stanborough Crown Court, is just over 60, and feels it is time to tell his wife, Laura, that for the last seven years of their 40-year marriage he has been deeply in love and having an affair with much younger Merrion Palmer. Merrion, a barrister, is only 31Dyounger than Guy's two sons, Simon (a 38-year-old father of three adolescent children) and Alan (a 35-year-old homosexual), and she forthrightly admits that Guy may be her father figure. Laura does not take the news well, despite the unhappiness that pervades her marriage. She obstinately refuses to talk or negotiate with Guy; characteristically, she clings to her favorite son, Simon, who's a lawyer, and forces him to represent her against his father. Laura's manipulation of Simon puts a tremendous strain on his marriage; his wife, Carrie, already resents Laura as a "self-absorbed, self-pitying woman" who uses her son as "a bloody substitute husband." Meanwhile, Simon and his family and Alan get to know and like Guy's mistress, an acceptance that Merrion ultimately finds intimidating, since she fears her identity will be subsumed in Guy's family. And Guy, dreading "the inevitable infliction of pain," struggles with guilty deliberations on Merrion's future with an aging husband. None of the themes hereDbetrayal and anger, the lovers' age difference, the grasping mother, the daughter-in-law's resentmentDare terribly unusual, but Trollope's proven ability to present them intelligently, as moral and emotional tangles faced by thinking, interesting people, satisfyingly combines the universally recognizable and the intellectually engaging. This novel should easily vault onto the bestseller lists. 12-city author tour; Penguin audio. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"Particularly rich and satisfying" * Mail on Sunday * "Clever, clever, clever... probes right to the heart of a typically modern dilemma" * Daily Mail * "Brilliant" * Spectator * "A swift and riveting read" * The Times * "This is Trollope at her best" * Woman & Home *