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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Review - The other family by Joanna Trollope

I have read all Joanne Trollope's books (I think so) and this one did not disappoint me just like the others. The slight difference is that normally the setting is one of idyllic countryside which people tell me does exist. It is not a fantasy. The time the settings are a bit more urban - but it works beautifully.
The theme of the story is sudden bereavement on the one side, not planning for the future of not just yourself (you die and go away and thats that) but what about all whom you leave behind totally unprepared to face the worst and how this thoughtlessness and carelessness can disrupt families so much more than grief at an actual death.
Richie Rossiter dies suddenly of a heart attack leaving behind Chrissie his "wife" of 23 years along with three daughters. Only thing Chrissie is not really his wife. He has a wife of a long time ago and a grown up 32 year old son - the wife whom he never bothered to divorce although she would have given him one. This leaves Chrissie feeling not just bereaved but cheated and miserable. Her misery rubs off on the three children who are all caught up in this entire web not of their seeking.
Add to this a bequest of a Steinway grand piano, Richie's love which he had secretly bequested to his actual wife and you set the cat amongst the pigeons literally when the bombshell bursts. The taxes which have to be paid on inheritance (English tax laws do not take cognisance of 3 children and 23 years of living together) and the complicated mess that the Rossiter's find themselves in, form the story.
This is a good book - 320 pages - but an eye opener for all - particularly middle aged men.


  1. I haven't read any of this author's books. Do you recommend them (all?)?

  2. Sounds good, but oh how angry I would have been with him, furious.

  3. I received for review The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson from Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways.

    "I asked the sailor what an Elephant looked like; he replied that it was like nothing on earth."

    England, 1766: After a long voyage from the East Indies, a ship docks in Bristol, England, and rumor quickly spreads about its unusual cargo—some say a mermaid is on board. A crowd forms, hoping to catch a glimpse of the magical creature. One crate after another is unpacked: a zebra, a leopard, and a baboon. There's no mermaid, but in the final two crates is something almost as magical—a pair of young elephants, in poor health but alive.

    Seeing a unique opportunity, a wealthy sugar merchant purchases the elephants for his country estate and turns their care over to a young stable boy, Tom Page. Tom's family has long cared for horses, but an elephant is something different altogether. It takes time for Tom and the elephants to understand one another, but to the surprise of everyone on the estate, a remarkable bond is formed.

    The Elephant Keeper, the story of Tom and the elephants, in Tom's own words, moves from the green fields and woods of the English countryside to the dark streets and alleys of late-eighteenth-century London, reflecting both the beauty and the violence of the age. Nicholson's lush writing and deft storytelling complement a captivating tale of love and loyalty between one man and the two elephants that change the lives of all who meet them.

  4. Wow, what a set of complications. Sounds like an interesting story.

  5. This sounds good--I've got one or two of Joanna Trollope's books on my shelves, but not this one. I really must try her soon!

  6. I keep seeing Trollope's name around, but I've yet to read anything by her. Clearly I should change that!

  7. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one as well, Mystica! It was the first book that I've read by her, but it won't be my last.