'A novel about the changing rules and requirements of modern affairs of the heart' Daily Mail
Joanna Trollope is the author of eagerly awaited and sparklingly readable novels often centred around the domestic nuaunces and dilemmas of life in present-day England. She has also written a number of historical novels and Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire. Joanna Trollope was born in Gloucestershire and now lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.
An admired English author of wryly intelligent family dramas, Trollope has never enjoyed a particularly wide American readership. This very likable novel, which features a protagonist from South Carolina involved with an English visitor, might change that. It even offers the notion that American family traditions, particularly Southern ones, offer a stability that contemporary English relationships often lack. Gillon Stokes is the odd girl out in her tradition-bound Charleston family, and when she goes to London on a typically whimsical impulse to pursue art research, she catches the eye of nature photographer Henry. When she casually invites him back home for a visit, Henry is charmed by the same folkways that Gillon finds so stifling, and he soon becomes so much part of her family that he begins turning their sense of themselves and each other upside down. Back in London, Henry's girlfriend, Tilly, is having problems keeping his friend William at bay, and discovers that she cares more than she expected she would about Henry's defection. The contrast between the casual, rootless Londoners and the rather rigid, assured Southerners is deliciously pointed, and Trollope (The Best of Friends, etc.) offers two splendid scenes of very different mothers and daughters coming to terms with their dissimilarities. This is subtle, delicate entertainment that skillfully avoids romantic clich while offering a group of believably quirky characters learning to adjust to new maturity. National advertising. (June 4) Forecast: The book's quality and American settings could finally bring Trollope the U.S. readership she deserves. It's an ideal title for reading clubs and sales will be bolstered by a 10-city author tour. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
She writes so beautifully... in a style so graceful and judicious
that you would call it restful if it were not also palpably
intelligent * Evening Standard *
Joanna Trollope is a wonderful novelist of domestic detail... Girl From the South is, like all her books, a really good read, spiked with insight * Observer *
Finely-observed family tensions * Sunday Mirror *
At the heart of Trollope's tightly written, acutely observed novel is what it means to be a family * New Statesman *
This is a novel about the modern affairs of the heart. It explores the dilemmas of men who won't commit themselves and women who yearn for sublime romantic love * Daily Mail *
Would that Trollope had stayed on her side of the pond. Instead, the prolific, popular English novelist (Marrying the Mistress) ricochets back and forth from Charleston, SC, to England, chronicling the relationships of several intertwined young people. The "girl from the South" is Gillon Stokes, who is in London working on an art exhibition catalog and trying to escape the constricted life her Southern upbringing imposes. Mind you, her mother, a psychiatrist in Charleston, doesn't quite fit the mold either. While in London, Gillon meets Henry Atkins, a discontented wildlife photographer on the brink of breaking up with his girlfriend. Shortly after Gillon returns to the South, Henry comes, too, is taken up by her family, and finds his true home, and love, there. More Maeve Binchy than Trollope, this rather mundane, predictable novel seems to be saying that "love isn't the answer." For those who expect the counterintuitively sympathetic characters of Trollope's previous novels and the unexpected denouements, this will be a disappointment. Fans will clamor for it, though. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/02.] Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal" Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.