A Village Affair

A Village Affair

Paperback

By (author) Joanna Trollope

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 196mm x 25mm | 45g
  • Publication date: 1 May 1994
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552994103
  • ISBN 13: 9780552994101
  • Sales rank: 127,442

Product description

The Grey House was the answer to everything in Alice Jordan's life - her perfect life. The beautiful eighteenth-century building with its orchard and paddock, the village of friendly eccentrics - Lettice Deverel with her parrot, and the vicar, a wonderful man - seemed to be the ultimate achievement of her outwardly happy marriage - a loyal, if dull husband, three children, two cars, and now, the house. So why did she feel that something crucial was missing? As they settled themselves solidly into local life (Monday, the community shop, Saturday, church flowers) the something missing in Alice's life became huge, then broke, scandalizing the village, opening up old wounds. But through it, because of it, Alice began to feel there was hope and humour, understanding and compassion in the new life she must build for herself.

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Author information

Joanna Trollope is the author of eagerly awaited and sparklingly readable novels often centred around the domestic nuaunces and dilemmas of life in present-day England. She has also written a number of historical novels and Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire. Joanna Trollope was born in Gloucestershire and now lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.

Review quote

"An elegantly crafted dissection of English rural life among the well-heeled and privileged...A considerable achievement" Woman's Journal "A story of seduction - not only sexual seduction but the irresistible appeal of money, beautiful objects, charming manners...excellent" The Sunday Times "A richly textured and immensely readable novel" The Sunday Times

Editorial reviews

In contrast to Trollope's previous novels - in which romantic and familiar contretemps vibrate to the worst of times (the Boer War in The Steps of the Sun, 1984; the battle of Waterloo in Eliza Stanhope, 1979; etc.) - here the setting is a quite perfect, contemporary, sentimental abstract of an English village, gentry-dominated, and with archetypical inhabitants. But the village is about to experience an aberrant ripple - at the epicenter of which is a scandalous lesbian affair. Beautiful Alice Jordan, married to mildly boring Martin, and mother of three young children, was amazed to find herself bursting into tears at the prospect of moving into the ever-so-desirable village of Pitcombe - with its stone houses, little river, and Sir Ralph's estate "looking down on it all with feudal benevolence." But Alice's impossible depression continues, in spite of the village, and the concern of mother-in-law Cecily - gardener extraordinary and author, an exhilarating contrast to Alice's telly-watching, grievance-collecting mother (and probably the reason Alice married Martin). Enter Clodagh, daughter of Sir Ralph, adored by the children, welcomed by Martin. Red-haired, arrogant, funny, and gay (in both senses of the word), Clodagh swings wide in Alice the gates of feeling. Eventually the two lovers' affair is revealed - to predictable excitations of rage, grief, and bewilderment all around. A hard - working vicar and a shrewd spinster offer some help and a moral edge; but it's Alice, who, after years of being emotionally exploited by others, of being "beholden" - even to Clodagh, who has been "waving a wand" above Alice's renaissance - moves toward independence and selfhood. Affected family and friends, wracked to the core, have some revelations of their own. Despite some solemn musing on the freeing or hobbling aspects of passionate love, Trollope's latest is quite a cheerful experience - full of keen appreciations of children (three tangy personalities here), cherished bright eccentrics, and clever, funny chatter from generally attractive people. (Kirkus Reviews)