Jillian is an unhappy unambitious girl, with one aim in life - marriage, children and happy-ever-after. She falls in love with handsome, wealthy Jack and her future is sealed. The book follows her marriage, and the relationships with her own disfunctional family and her eccentric and unpleasant in-laws. The story is not unlike Tara Road by Maeve Binchy and if you liked that you may like this book, albeit not as well written and lacking Binchy's skill of characterisation. As with 'Tara Road' however, I spent the whole book wanting to get the poor, repressed, subservient, dutiful, lip-biting, always-see-the-best-in-everyone heroine by the throat and shake some character into her. Not only is she an all-cleaning,all-cooking, super-hostess, mother-of-mothers, and sex - "if you say so darling" saint (beautiful,slim and blonde of course), but most of her horrible family despise her for her goodness and treat her with utter contempt. The irritation at her blinkered selflessness combined with a lack of any lovable supporting characters made it difficult to get too involved in the story. Add to that the fact that all events, be they births, deaths, marriages or making a pot of tea are treated with the same stiff-upper-lip lack of outward emotion, with inner turmoil and underlying misery, mean that there is no sense of tragedy or euphoria - just one of mild, disinterested depression.
Having said all that, the book was readable, I finished it at least and if you like pretty, efficient, teeth-firmly-gritted, 'Stand By Your Man' heroines this may be the book for you - Me? - I'll be scouring the shelves for something a little more inspiring!