Category: Fiction / S - U
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 21 January 2000
Number of pages: 256
When Simon Stockdale tells his son, Jack, that his grandfather is leaving his grandmother for a woman he's been having an affair with for seven years, it is just the tip of the iceberg. Jack is embarking on his first love affair and his grandfather's mistress may not just be "His honour's totty."
The secret to the success of Trollope's domestic dramas is her deeply-held conviction that however emotionally fraught the situation 'one still has to queue at the supermarket check-out'. And here it is again. A family is thrown into turmoil by the announcement by 62-year-old Judge Guy Stockdale, father and grandfather, that he is leaving his 40-year-old marriage to live with and eventually marry a barrister with whom he has had a seven-year affair. But Laura, Guy's docile wife, faced with the loss of security and status, resorts to jungle tactics: a familiar situation in real, as well as fictional, life. But it is in Trollope's juxtaposition of high emotion with the mundane, especially in the family of the eldest son Simon, that we see it most conspicuously. It is the endless minutiae of their daily-lives - the never finished washing-up, picking-up, tidying-up, making and consuming of meals - which becomes a metaphor for their equally desperate attempts to control the chaos of their emotional lives; which gives depth and pathos to the big issues of love, sex, loyalty and family unity. This is Trollope at her best, making us look all around a deadlocked predicament - which could affect any one of us. (Kirkus UK)
What the papers say:
'Hodge is at home in the middle-class milieu of herbaceous borders and china cups, but she also works brilliantly to betray feelings in the voices of family members in a crisis.' Daily Telegraph 'A gripping read -- As shrewdly observant of psychological and domestic detail as anything she has written.' Daily Telegraph on Other People's Children. ""A novel to raise passions, beautifully read by Patricia Hodge."" Express on Other People's Children.
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