Friday, March 16, 2007

Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope

This book put me in a bad mood. I had to force myself to finish it. There's nothing wrong with how it's written: The story moves along in a straightforward way, the characters are fully formed, the events plausible, and the resolution logical. It's the story of a couple whose three children have grown and moved out, and then bounce back home, then move out again. Character traits include pathetic (Edie, the mother), spoiled (Rosa, the daughter), clueless (Ben, the younger son), hostile (Matt, the older son), disconnected (Russell, the father), angry (Viv, the aunt), and ridiculous (Max, the uncle). Only the cat, Arsie, is at all likable. Yuck. What a disappointment. I usually like Joanna Trollope because she is so skilled at creating truly realistic families. I guess this family is realistic. They're just not people I would like to spend any time with.

(Book 12, 2007)


Anonymous said...

Oy, sounds like a dud. I used to quite like J. Trollope too (_The Men and the Girls_ one of my favorites), but I've been off her since her book about two adoptees trying to find their birth mothers. I reviewed that novel, yet I can't even remember its title -- bad sign, eh?

Unlikable characters are hard to take (unless you're reading a crime thriller, where at least *one* character is gonna be unlikable!). Life is too short!

Becky Holmes said...

That book is Brother and Sister. I didn't read it, and I don't remember why not. Something didn't appeal to me. I liked The Men and the Girls a lot, and also A Village Affair. Sometimes you can go off a writer, then circle around again. I stopped reading Anne Tyler for a long time, and now I'm really enjoying her. Maybe I just need a break from Trollope.

Regarding crime fiction, yes, isn't it satisfying when you just know that this disagreeable character is going to whacked? I love it. Unfortunately, no one got it in Second Honeymoon.

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