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Second Honeymoon: A Novel Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074758866X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596910386
  • ASIN: 1596910380
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Over 16 novels, Trollope has explored a plethora of the modern family's permutations; her 17th is a tender, funny ode to empty nest syndrome. Edie Boyd is a middle-aged, part-time actress and London mother of three whose youngest is packing up and moving out. Husband Russell is delighted with the chance to rediscover and retune their marriage, but Edie can't quite face life (or herself) without being "Mum" on a daily basis. Not to worry: the children almost simultaneously fall prey to a series of mishaps and financial troubles, and Edie is delighted when her wish to have her brood back is suddenly granted. At this point, the transformations one expects in a flown coop begin to take hold, as does the comedy. Embedded in the novel's sometimes soap opera turns, which cut expertly from the children's points of view to Edie's, are Trollope's somehow insightful takes on the perennial career vs. child-rearing dilemma. The struggles of Edie, of Russell, and of children Rosa, Matt, Ben and their various partners are deftly rendered in the dialogue that dominates the book; it has a good pace and marks out the narrative decisively. The things her flawed but lovable characters say to each other, in fact, save Trollope's tidily concluded latest from feeling too much like chick lit for the PBS set. (Mar.)
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Review

"The author's witty manipulation of her characters recalls the other Trollope, although there is nothing Victorian about her style... perfectly pitched dialogue" The Times "One of the finest chroniclers of the way we live now" Independent on Sunday "Trollope has perfectly caught the angst of the empty nest... the ebb and flow of relationships is brilliantly handled" The Observer "The queen of the domestic dilemma... observant and empathetic" The Sunday Times "Trollope has always written well and convincingly about property. It's her refusal to divorce her characters' inner lives from the accumulated stuff of their outer ones that makes the best of it so compelling" The Daily Telegraph --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Joanna Trollope has been writing fiction for more than 30 years. Some of her best known works include The Rector's Wife (her first #1 bestseller), A Village Affair, Other People's Children, and Marrying the Mistress. She was awarded the OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honors List for services to literature. She lives in England.

Customer Reviews

Recommended - if you read it in hard copy!
Ani Koreh
This book dragged and I found myself constantly trying to "get into it" but it never happened - I finished the book but with difficulty.
Peggy Sullivan Crespo
Edie, the emotional center of the book, is endearingly three-dimensional, a blend of clear-eyed honesty and sheer emotional goo.
Bookreporter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on April 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
SECOND HONEYMOON: This dangerously mushy-sounding title is ironic, thank God. In the hands of a less clever and disciplined writer than Joanna Trollope, it really would be about a man and wife "finding" one another after the kids move out. This never exactly happens, mostly because the empty nest contemplated in the first chapter by Edie Boyd, part-time actress and former full-time mother, is rapidly re-populated as the book progresses...much to the chagrin of her husband Russell, who had secret hopes of being liberated into post-parent bliss.

The plot rocks along at a comfortable real-time pace --- not urgent or momentous, but with a pleasant tension that keeps you reading. Although the crazy-quilt of overlapping events sometimes feels a bit soap-opera, what with three semi-adult children (any older parent will know precisely what I mean by that characterization) and Edie's sister to keep track of, SECOND HONEYMOON is definitely a cut above your average page-turner. Edie, the emotional center of the book, is endearingly three-dimensional, a blend of clear-eyed honesty and sheer emotional goo. Her struggles with the loss of her maternal role, and its return in a different form, are paralleled by the play in which she is performing: Ibsen's Ghosts. A tremendous scandal when it appeared in the 1880s --- it was banned in England until 1914 --- the drama centers on Mrs. Alving, a widow whose "revered" husband turns out to have given her syphilis --- which she passed on in the womb, fatally, to their son Osvald --- as well as to have fathered an illegitimate daughter.

It is to Trollope's credit that she does not belabor the play's relevance (and assumes that readers will know its basic scenario --- frankly, I hadn't read it in so long that I had to Google it).
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ani Koreh on February 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a wonderful and insightful story about a family going through multiple transitions. Sadly, the Kindle edition is full of scanning errors - missing punctuation, bizarre characters added, etc. Recommended - if you read it in hard copy!
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Louise D. Patton on March 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the real Joanna Trollope! The author who writes insightful novels about "real" life, who adds humor, who uses prose, and "hits the nail on the head" so that the reader has to savor those certain lines that come from one's own experience! This is a novel one enjoys so much that the reader is disappointed when it's over and sits savoring its aura. If you're looking for enjoyment and a realistic view of those punches life pulls this is the story for you! Read it!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Beverley Strong on May 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Edie is distraught...her youngest child, Ben,22 years old, has moved out of home to live with his girlfriend. Edie and her husband, theatrical agent, Russell have two older children who have both moved into their own flats and the shock of being without any children at home has just hit Edie like a blow. Unless you've had this happen, it probably seems to be an exaggerated state of mind, but if your last child or your only child has gone, it is truly like a gaping hole that you can never imagine being filled, and is a genuinely terrible sense of loss...If you've been there, you'll know what I mean! Russell has been trying to persuade Edie to resume her stage career, abandoned many years before, to give her a new sense of purpose but she simply can't rise above her depression until she meets a thin, needy but talented young actor who moves into their house as a lodger. They play together in an Ibsen revival, most successfully, until Edie's three children all move back into their parent's home because of varying difficulties. Edie finds herself in the situation of getting exactly what she'd prayed for and then discovering that one can't go back, and that the past is just that..the past. This was a very moving read and one with which a lot of readers will identify, especially mothers.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has had to suffer an "empty nest" can empathize completely with Edie Boyd, whom we meet on the first page grieving for her youngest son in his impossibly messy room that, obviously, the author got from my OWN son's room. For several pages, I thought the son was dead, and was in tears...until I realized that he had merely moved out. And then I wept for the absolute recognition of that terrible feeling: "I Have Nobody to Mother"!

What saves this book from just another "woman in transition" novel is that we also get to know Edie's three grown children: Rosa, in and out of relationships and jobs that are beneath her; prim and proper married Matthew, old before his time in reaction to his somewhat hippy upbringing; and the aforementioned "baby," Ben, who has moved in with his gorgeous girlfriend--and her mother.

As Edie and her devoted husband, Russell, struggle with their different points of view on being alone again (Edie is devastated, Russell is enchanted at the idea of being romantic with his wife after all these years), a strange twist of fate brings all three children home again--plus a diffident young man who is starring in an Ibsen play with Edie.

The nest is full, Edie is fulfilled. Or is she? And what of her sister Viviene, whose own son is in Australia with his girfriend and whose straying husband has left for good? Is she better off alone?

This is just a fine, beautifully written (as always) and deeply insightful look into the stages of a woman's life--and a man's, and how, as she shows us anew that nothing is constant other than change itself.

Highly, highly recommended.
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