Friday, 5 August 2011

Daughters in Law & pup

Daughters in Law by Joanna Trollope. JT is back on excellent form with this absorbing story of family life. You gasp at times and ask yourself if mothers-in-law can be that tactless and then I remembered that long ago mine was, though I dare say I was hypersensitive in those days. 
Rachel is a matriarch and wants her sons and their wives around her, but not all the young wives want to dance to Rachel’s kindly and mostly well-meant tune.  Do read it, it’s really very good.  Here’s a Canadian review.  I steered clear of the English ones as reviewers always seem compelled to mention Agas – this is the first time that JT has ventured back into the territory for years, but her books are about universal modern problems rather than those specific to the country living classes. There's usually a moral too: this time it is again that adult children should not be mollycoddled, and, of course, m-i-l's should not interfere. Indeed they should pull up their socks and find a new occupation. Brace up in general, in fact.

Mr Rosenblum’s List by Natasha Solomons was billed as comic, but in my view it is  actually a tragedy and, I’m afraid, shameful.  Shameful in that in the 1950s, despite his business success, Jewish refugee Jack Rosenblum was blackballed from all his local suburban golf clubs.  So, determined to be a proper Englishman, he decides to move to the depths of the country and build his own golf course, mostly on his own.  His poor wife is deeply unhappy but eventually, thanks to her cake-making, begins to fit in, perhaps too late. Here's what Dove Grey thought.

I’ve also re-read for the third or fourth time Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Once again I’m awed by the richness of his imagery (also the skill of his translator). It struck me this time that, as well as vivid descriptions of the S. American high society, the surprising characters and the dank hot Caribbean seaport, there are some not altogether savoury goings on in the book but it’s so well written one doesn’t even blink. (I write in euphemisms to avoid attracting unsuitable comments)

Above: See how grown up Otto is these days.


Nan said...

Oh, sweet, sweet boy!

I really liked this book, too. I wrote about it on the blog here:

I just finished another new book along the same lines called The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore, which you might like.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha when I first saw the header I thought you meant *your* daughters in law. 'Brace up' sums up Joanna Trollope's attitude to life very well.

I also found Mr Rosenblum's List sad but I did enjoy it.

Otto looks lovely!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I have yet to catch up with reading Joanna Trollope's last few published novels but will do eventually as I normally enjoy her writing.
By coincidence I recently read Mr Rosenblum's List and published my own review yesterday, I also found it sad.