In a change of pace, I read a book by an old reliable favourite, Joanna Trollope. I have no recollection of how I acquired this book which has probably been on my shelf since it was publshed (and set) in 2006, but I suspect it was a free offer of some kind. It is a very English novel, concerning Russell and Edie whose children are in their 20s and all leaving home. Matt works in the city, Rosa temps and the youngest, Ben, does not a lot, but it is he who kick-starts the action by going to live with his girlfriend Naomi in her mother’s flat in Walthamstow.
Edie, an actress, is devastated at her loss, but Russell, an agent, is looking forward to spending time alone with her and recreating their early married, pre-children, life. Edie does not feel at all the same way, and attempts to confide in her sister Vivien with whom she has an edgy relationship, inbetween going to auditions. We see events from the point of view of most of the characters in rotation, the author perceptively showing us the differences between people’s inner concerns, and others’ assumptions about them.
I enjoyed this book very much – it’s a light read but the author makes you interested in everyone she portrays, even those that seem at first rather callow and unsympathetic. There are plenty of opportunities for cliche, but the experienced author is able to skirt them pretty well. And she certainly knows a thing or two about plotting and pacing.