Review Blog

Apr 10 2018

An unsuitable match by Joanna Trollope

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Pan Macmillan, 2018. ISBN 9781509855636
(Age; Senior secondary - Adult) When Tyler proposes to Rose, he is as stunned as she is bemused. Her husband has recently left his thriving medical practice in London for a new life with his long-time mistress (about whom his wife had known nothing) working in Australia. Shocked and determined to protect her grown-up children from the collapse of the family, Rose had been growing accustomed to the reality of being by herself, no longer supported and protected by her husband, although he had left her the family home.
Tyler had been married to a very rich woman in the United States for many years, being a faithful husband and a quietly calm father, yet strangely disconnected from the world of his wife, and of his children. His wife had not sought his company, and neither had her father, whose opinion she valued above all else. When his wife died, he returned to London, seeking to recapture a sense of himself in his former, familiar world.
The children of both families are shocked at the news of Rose and Tyler's proposed marriage, considering whether it will even work. We are aware that there is nothing 'wrong' with Tyler, and Rose likes him a lot, yet she is unsure of her commitment to a new marriage, or to the kind, thoughtful, gentle man who adores her, as are the children of both families.
Delightfully written, in Trollope's easy, gentle prose, faultless and lyrical, this story, and the proposal of a new life, seem to be perfect, yet the underlying tensions cause some heightening of mistrust, in both reader and family, and Joanna Trollope holds us to the very end. That slight tension depicts so well her understanding of human nature, families, and the demands of living in the modern world.
Suitable for adult and older adolescent reading.
Elizabeth Bondar

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