Joanna Trollope

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I've just finished reading Second Honeymoon, plus 10 or so online reviews. I think what I wanted to find in the reveiws was some confirmation of my own complete lack of empathy with most of the characters, most especially the 'heroine' Edie. I didn't. Every single review speaks of the endearing qualities of Edie, the 'quirkiness', her dilemmas, the multidemensionality etc.
Basically the book is about Edie and Russell's -an actress and agent respectively - situation when their youngest (of three) adult child leaves home. Edie is devastated, having constituted herself as Great Mother, Russell is more philosphical, hoping, rather unrealistically for a "second honeymoon" .
I won't say more about the plot, except to say that the rest of the bok is about all these children failing at various enterprises and coming home again. Edie herself , in another seriously unlikely happenstance , meanwhile lands a great role in Ibsens Ghosts and invites her stage son home too.
I just want to know what other people thought of this book. Did you find it to be about a flawed but endearing Bohemian baby boomer couple and their interesting offspring having interesting crises. Or did you think it was about a seriously unappealing woman, who is rather sickening in her conception of motherhood ( the scenes of t-shirt sniffing and lying in departed's beds, and, my favourite, her looking at the towel wrapped round her 28 year old son's waist and saying "why so modest, I've seen it all before you know ..."
Yet, her 'Bohemianism' seems strangely absent when she is she thinks her adult daughter may be having sex with tthe lodger. "Not in my house " says Edie.
And she is unfailingly nasty to her sister, whose own son has left home for Australi,a not Walthanstow but isn't allowed to feel as Edie the Great Mother feels.
At the point where one reviewer said she found Vivien, the sister , a bit too much a of feminist triumph I got that feeling of having read a different book. Vivien, the feminist triumph being abandoned by a lying and womanising husband , who, when she takes him back out of lonlieness betrays her again. Vivien , who is described by Edie's daughter as being all "kitten heels and chandelier earrings" when being wooed again by said husband .
Someone help me please .............

>>By BarbaraH   (Saturday, 17 Mar 2007 08:38)



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