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Joanna Trollope - A Spanish Lover (1993)

This has been hanging around a long while, probably preserved from previous culls by being signed by the author. It whiled away a couple of pleasant hours.

Frances and Lizzie are twins in their late-thirties. Contentedly single Frances has a life-changing love affair. Happily married Lizzie's financial and family affairs take a near-disastrous turn. There is almost nothing here except emotion and conversation, but that is all you need to enjoy the book, for both are very well conveyed.

Trollope has a reputation of writing for middle England, and on the basis of this well-written book it is well deserved. There is little or no world-building: the author is using recognition, of scenery, furnishings and social types familiar to residents of English towns and readers of English novels to build her effects. Once introduced, viewpoints shift around the characters, and personalities jump off the page, conveyed by authorial omniscience and artful selection of thought and conversation. It is not a fault that they are entirely limited to a small selection of middle-class thoughts and conversations, for that is what the book is about. The children in particular have small but splendid parts.

Frances’ experiences in less-familiar Spain enhance the book, and are conveyed with a great deal of charm.

This seems to be the first book by Joanna Trollope that I have ever read, though I have read others of the genre. I doubt I will remember it, but I might remember having read it.

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Caroline M

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