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A stylish, warm, sometimes comical, sometimes loving story of a marriage, a family, and a village affair.
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. oanna 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.
In this readable, emotionally nuanced novel, Trollope ( The Choir ) depicts a young wife and mother who gets what she wants--the perfect house in Pitcombe, a perfect village in England. But instead of being overjoyed, Alice is depressed until she meets Clodagh Unwin, an imperiously wayward daughter of local nobility. Clodagh falls in love with Alice and seduces her. But when the sexual relationship between the women is exposed, Alice's husband and the Pitcombe citizenry (who had accepted her as a depressed housewife), become less hospitable to the cheerful lesbians. Despite a tendency to stereotype, to recount offstage climactic moments instead of directly depicting them, and to quote George Eliot excessively, Trollope has abundant talents. Her spare, pithy style and resonant dialogue contribute to an absorbing story in which a woman learns to eschew conventions and embrace independence. (Sept.)
"An elegantly crafted dissection of English rural life among the well-heeled and privileged...A considerable achievement" * Woman's Journal * "A story of seduction - not only sexual seduction but the irresistible appeal of money, beautiful objects, charming manners...excellent" * The Sunday Times * "A richly textured and immensely readable novel" * The Sunday Times *
In 1977 Alice Meadows marries Martin Jordan to escape her parents' seedy house and join his glamorous and prosperous family. Her painting flourishes. By the mid-1980s, Alice finds herself with three children, a plodding husband, and a picturesque house in a ``much sought-after village'' near Salisbury. However, she exists in an emotional vacuum and can no longer paint. Then the local squire's daughter, Clodagh, arrives to awaken Alice to passion and artistic rebirth. The women's affair shatters Martin and scandalizes the village. Eventually Alice rejects eveyone, including Clodagh, and decides to support her children through her art. Because Alice is so tiresome and self-absorbed, most readers probably won't care whether she succeeds or not. The strenght of several minor characters cannot compensate for the tedium of considering Alice's woes.-- Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.