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A Spanish Lover [Paperback]

Joanna Trollope
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

1 July 1994

Lizzie and Frances are twins, together forming part of a unit.At least that's the way Lizzie sees things. Lizzie is the twin who has everything, husband, children, a flourishing career and a beautiful house and worries about Frances who seems to lead a solitary life in London ricocheting from one disastrous man to the next. Lizzie just wants Frances to share in her own complete and satisfying life.

Then one day Frances announces she isn't coming to Lizzie's for Christmas, she's going to Spain instead. And, equally unexpectedly, Lizzie's world begins to tilt, Frances's Christmas defection seems overwhelmingly threatening to their unity.

As Frances's future begins to change into something exciting and Lizzie's deteriorates as financial pressures eat into her ideal lifestyle, could it be that Frances is the twin with everything?.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; New Ed edition (1 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552995495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552995498
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanna Trollope has written several highly-acclaimed contemporary novels: The Choir, A Village Affair, A Passionate Man, The Rector's Wife, The Men and the Girls, A Spanish Lover, The Best of Friends, Next of Kin, Other People's Children, Marrying the Mistress, Girl from the South and Friday Nights. Other People's Children has been shown on BBC television as a major drama serial. Under the name of Caroline Harvey she writes romantic historical novels. She has also written a study of women in the British Empire, Britannia's Daughters. Joanna was born in Gloucestershire and lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.

Product Description


"Some people are beginning to measure out their lives in terms of the next Joanna Trollope... her novels, like family life itself, are built on the tensions between the illusions of permanence and the reality of charm" (Observer)

"A hugely enjoyable book" (The Sunday Times)

"I love her wit, her benevolence, her resolve that in even the darkest hour a little light will shine" (Irish Press)

"Wise and warm, profoundly satisfying as well as acutely querying...A perceptive chronicler of our times" (Sunday Express)

Book Description

A story of delicate family relationships and the catalysts that can change everything ...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Exasperating and enthralling in equal measure 18 Dec 2001
By A Customer
In many ways Trollope is a compelling writer: I kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen to these characters; the problem with this book, like many of her others, is that there is so much to be irritated by as well. An example of this is the way in which the adulterers unassailably occupy the moral highground (are we supposed to believe in the cardboardy mistress Juliet Jones with her patchwork and her pottery and her absurd gnomic pronouncements?) I liked Barbara, the mother of the twins, but Trollope makes it obvious that she doesn't (her authorial favouritism can be rather off-putting).
I couldn't help thinking that the historical chronology of the book is sometimes inaccurate. We are told that the twins were born in 1953. When they are ten, their mother goes off to Marrakech to follow the hippy trail. Isn't 1963 a bit early for this? Similarly on her return after a year or so, she becomes a convert to feminism. Again wasn't this development - in the 'women's lib' phase mocked by Trollope - later than 1964-65? Near the end of the book, we are told that the twins sneaked into the pictures to see Anthony Perkins in Desire under the Elms (tempted by the combination of star and the word 'desire' in the title) when they were underage. This film came out in 1958, making the twins five, slightly more underage than Trollope intended, I imagine. This sort of thing is so easily checked by author or editor, and I think it's a sign of sloppiness when nobody bothers (although perhaps it has been corrected by now: I've been reading the original hardback version).
Overall, she has a real talent as a storyteller - it's usually her characters I have trouble with.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book tells the story of two sisters who both live very different lives. One is single and one is married with an ostensibly happy and successful life. As the story devleops, their lives change as does their luck. One takes the eponymous Spanish Lover as the other sees her life and business deteriorate. Preconceptions are shattered and the reader's allegiance is constantly changing throughout. Another theme that arises is that of familial expectation and the courage it takes to break it. Very readable and beautifully descriptive - should be sponsored by the Seville Tourist Board!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm, Involving and Entertaining 28 Dec 2012
Twin sisters, Lizzie and Frances are, as Lizzie describes: a unit; together they make up a rich, rounded person, but are like two pieces of a jigsaw, they have to fit together, and to do that properly, they can't be exactly the same shape. Lizzie Middleton and her husband, Rob, have four children, their own gallery selling kelims, cushions, candlesticks, casseroles and pottery jugs, and they live in a beautiful, large, late eighteenth century house complete with a pedimented porch. Frances, with a series of failed relationships behind her, lives alone in London and gives most of her time and energy to her exclusive travel business catering for the more discerning traveller. Lizzie, reflecting on her tiring, but rich and fulfilling family life, feels sorry for her twin and (what she considers to be) her lonely and solitary existence. When Frances suddenly announces to Lizzie and the rest of her immediate family (mother, Barbara, and father, William) that she will not be spending Christmas at Lizzie's, as she has always done, and instead is flying off to meet the owner of a group of exclusive 'posadas' in an unspoilt area of Spain, Lizzie begins to panic that Frances might finally be moving away from her. And when, as a result of this meeting, Frances becomes romantically involved with Luis, the successful and charming Spanish businessman, who transforms her life, Lizzie starts to feel an envy that can only be damaging to their relationship. Furthermore, as Britain hits the recession of the early nineties and the gallery makes worrying losses instead of profits, putting Lizzie's whole lifestyle at risk, we now see that Frances is in the ascendancy - but how does Lizzie, who is feeling vulnerable and threatened, cope with this turnaround of fortunes? Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 12 May 2014
By Sue
Lizzie and Frances are twins – close, and yet very different in character. Both are happy in what they do, but changes disrupt their patterns of life. Good characters, encouraging ending.

First read in 2003; I’d forgotten most of the plot and enjoyed it just as much re-reading five years later.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly absorbing 2 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although I had read this book before I found it incredible. Could not wait to pick it up again . One of Joanna Trollope's best noveld
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read 6 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
very enjoyable book it kept my interest all the way through. I have read nearly all of Joanna Trollope's books and this is one of the best.
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