JOANNA TROLLOPE

Joanna Trollope is the bestselling author of about 15 novels.

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Sense and Sensibility (2013)

So we all know Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility story about the Dashwood girls but if you've ever wondered what it would look like circa 2013, Joanna Trollope's modernisation answers that very question. She transplants the story into the world of Facebook, Aston Martins and iPods, while keeping to the original plot of a story following the Dashwood sisters. After the death of their father leaves them pretty much high and dry, Elinor, the pragmatic sister, seeks to keep her family afloat, while Marianne, the romantic one, is busy looking for love, and Margaret, the youngest, is the very essence of a teenager. For any Austen fans, the publication of this book comes both with huge anticipation and equal trepidation. And whilst I appreciated the book being brought to a new audience, it didn't feel as contemporary as I expected and there was no sense of Trollope leaving her mark. For those not familiar with the Austen original, I suspect this book will offer more but for me the ghost of Austen loomed too large over the narrative. (JC)


The Soldier's Wife (2012)

Dan Riley, a major in the Army, returns from a six-month tour of duty of Afghanistan. On the surfaces Dan appears to have it all - a beautiful wife, Alexa, stepdaughter Isabel and three-year-old twin daughters Flora and Tassy. He is well respected by both his men and his family circle. The reality, however, is very different as both Dan and Alexa struggle to adapt to the changes in their lives. This is the first Joanne Trollope novel I have read, and I was sadly disappointed. I felt I wasn't able to get to know the characters in this book as there were too many. I also found myself having to re-read parts of the book as I felt I had missed something as the plot seemed to be underdeveloped. (BS)


The Other Family (2010)

Chrissie always believed that Richie loved her. After all they'd been together for 23 years and had three daughters together. But if she really was the love of his life, why had he never given her the one thing that would have made her life perfect? When Richie passes away, Chrissie wonders how they are going to cope as she was never officially made Mrs Richie Rossiter. She had been given a ring but he never got around to popping the question. For Richie, popping the question was never a consideration since he was officially still married to Margaret - the wife before he became a famous musician and with whom he had a son, Scott. Both families were never to meet - that was the plan. But at Richie's will reading, there is no way to keep the Other Family out of the picture. Chrissie is about to find out that when it comes down to money, property and estates, old resentments come into play as each woman tries to do the best for her family. This is an interesting story about family conflict and loyalty. (PP)


Friday Nights (2008)

Eleanor, a retired health administrator, is a lonely old woman; Paula is a single mum with an eight-year-old son Toby (the result of a relationship with a married man); Lindsay is a hesitant young widow with a son; Jude is Lindsay's quirky sister who wants to be a DJ; Blaise and Karen are friends as well as business partners - with the latter being married to an artist and having two children. For these six woman, Friday nights are more than just a simple gathering - it's the only night where they can get together, loosen up and have a drink or two, and most importantly have heart-to-heart conversations. It's when Paula starts introducing her love interest - young, charismatic Jackson Miller - into their pack, things start to get out of hand. (XT)


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