Braving another emotional minefield, this is a novel by the author of "The Choir", "A Village Affair", "The Rector's Wife" and "A Spanish Lover".
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The court official leaned closer.
"What's gone past", he said 'is not just an advocate, any old lady advocate. What's gone past is his Honour's totty".
And what's going past is the life of Guy Stockdale, a 62-year-old judge, who has been married forever, has two sons--Simon and Alan--and three grandchildren. For the past seven years, he has also had a mistress; Merrion Palmer is intelligent, attractive and half Guy's age, which also makes her younger than both Simon and Alan. Her dad died when she was a toddler and she is well aware that Guy is something of a father substitute. For years the role of mistress has suited her but then, suddenly, this style of relationship isn't enough for either of them. They have both had enough of sneaking around and avoiding people, so Guy has momentously made up his mind to leave his wife Laura and marry Merrion.
Marrying the Mistress dives into the shock-waves that buffet the Stockdale family after Guy leaves Laura. The novel addresses the question of how his sons are going to cope, the explosive opinions of his forthright daughter-in-law Carrie and what his teenage grandchildren make of it all. Can any of them avoid taking sides? Should they? And what about the abandoned wife Laura, a woman apparently so long-sufferingly self-sacrificing she makes Mother Teresa look selfish?
From queen of the aga saga Joanna Trollope comes a dexterous portrayal of the causes and effects of marital breakdown: the stresses, the battle of wills, the bitterness and personal growth, the renegotiation of relationships--and an exposure of the depths to which the moral high ground can sink. --Lisa Gee