Rachel has always loved being at the centre of her large family. She has fiercely devoted herself to her three sons all their lives, and continues to do so even now they are all grown up. They are, of course, devoted to her – she and Anthony, their father, hold the family together at their big, beautiful, ramshackle house near the wide, bird-haunted coast of Suffolk. But when Luke, her youngest, gets married, Rachel finds that control is slipping away.
Other people seem to be becoming more important to her children than she is, and she can no longer rely on her role as undisputed matriarch. A power struggle develops which can only end in unhappiness; her three daughters-in-law want to do things their own way, and so, to her grief, do her sons...
©2011 Joanna Trollope (P)2011 Random House Audiobooks
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"A gentle, well narrated book"
This book, set over the course of a summer, follows four marriages. That of Mum and Dad and the marriages of their three sons and of course, daughters-in-law. At first I was waiting for something to happen but it's not that kind of story. Instead this is a very intelligently written account of the relationships between husbands and wives, between brothers and between a mother and her sons.
The characters are very complex and likable in themselves, but the excellent narrator brings a dreamy, innocent naivete to Petra that I wouldn't have noticed had I read the book myself.
I found myself thinking of these people long after I had finished the book. A must if you are a daughter-in-law or if you have a daugher-in-law but an enjoyable listen for anyone.
"Trollope at her best !"
For anyone who is a daughter , daughter in law or mother in law this book is a must. She deconstructs these complex relationships in a way which is sensitive and respectful. Through the different characters she presents the reality of life which shifts and changes despite our wish at times for it to remain static.
I hated Charlotte but perhaps her characterisation was a little too close for comfort. I also hated Rachel for the same reason.
I read this some years ago and it was the catalyst for me to evaluate some of my own behaviours as a daughter in law and consider how they may have impacted on all those around me. I listened to this narration captivated. Thanks Joanna from the bottom of my heart.
I didn't want it to end !!
"For all Mother in Laws"
Quite a good holiday read - no surprises - just a family at wits with the interfering Mother.
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