Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope

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.

Read other reviews of this novel at: The Observer, The Independent, The Telegraph, and The Seattle Times.

Author’s website. Joanna Trollope at Wikipedia.


7 thoughts on “Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope

  1. Maxine – Thanks for sharing this review. I always enjoy it when an author’s skilled at showing us the difference between the way characters seem on the outside (and therefore, what people assume about them) and what’s going on inside. Thanks for reminding me of that.

  2. I tried her novel “The Rector´s Wife” a couple of years ago, but I must admit that I found it almost as boring as my own life. But perhaps it was just too close to home ;D

  3. I seem to remember that rather a lot of angsty relationship stuff went on in that village in The Rector’s Wife, Dorte, which is pretty dull perhaps.

  4. Sounds kind of tempting. But what about Trollope the elder. Any comments about that? I ran into a woman reading in a cafe in my neighborhood and she was laughing. She was reading Trollope, the elder, and told me to try his books.

  5. I very much enjoyed Trollope the elder’s Barchester Chronicles (5 novels), Kathy, and can recommend those. To my shame, I have not read others by him, but his political satires were and still are very well regarded. There are some good TV adaptations of the books, I believe.

  6. Thanks so much about Trollope the Elder. Will check out what you suggest, including the tv shows.
    Hope you have a great holiday, and look forward to next year’s book reviews and news!

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