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Village Affair [Hardcover]

Joanna Trollope
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 Jun 1989
A lesbian affair scandalizes the inhabitants of a contemporary rural English village in this novel by the author of "The Choir". It tells not only of the complications of a lesbian attachment, but also of the peculiarity of convention and the modern attitudes of a rural community.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1sr Edition 1st Printing edition (8 Jun 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747503656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747503651
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,481,151 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


"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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A stylish, warm, sometimes comical, sometimes loving story of a marriage, a family, and a village affair. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read 22 Oct 2011
By Louisa
I really enjoyed this book. It is the first of Joanna Trollope's novels for me and I am now reading my second Marrying the Mistress. I like stories which relate to real life situations so A Village Affair was a great choice I thought. It was well written, and I really felt I got to know the characters. Highly recommended.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book true to Joanna Trollope's form 11 Feb 2000
By A Customer
Joanna Trollope has once again proven her ability to portrait each character so well that it is impossible to take sides. She also shows that it is not always necessary to go into juicy detail. Her novels tell more about the status of women in British society than any thesis could. The ending of this book is not a happy ending in the American sense but a truly hopeful one, which makes this book very realistic and lets the reader identify themselves with the characters. Anyone who has ever been in a crisis knows how impossible it is to describe one's feelings as long as it is still going on. "A Village Affair" shows too how dependant we are on other people's opinion and how impossible it is to please everyone - including oneself. So when Alice breaks free it makes the reader feel very relieved.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on A VILLAGE AFFAIR 28 July 2010
I have never read a Trollope novel before, but I was given a copy of THE VILLAGE AFFAIR by one of my daughters recently, so I ploughed my way through it. I think it must have added at least half a stone to my weight, since it required much munching of crisps, sweets and sandwiches to keep me awake as I read. The plot was intrinsically interesting, being about a young married woman Alice who, with her husband, an up-and-coming lawyer, moves to an enviably substantial house in a Wiltshire village where everyone votes Conservative. Alice is unexplainably miserable, discontented in spite of her faithful husband Martin, three healthy children and her acquisition of `The Grey House' which is the envy of many--miserable, that is, until she meets the vivacious foxy-loxy Clodagh, youngest daughter of Lady Unwin from the Big House. Just returned from New York, over-paid, over-sexed and over here (in Pitcombe), Clodagh is your Becky Sharp look-alike (wide cheeks, small chin) that no man or woman can resist, with her lively and electrifying spirit. Of course, miserable Alice is electrified into new life under her touch.

The consequences are disastrous. Alice comes alive, can paint again, loves everyone more than ever under this new awakening experience--apart from her husband Martin, of course, who, innocent, befuddled and confused by the turn of events, now seems dull and boring, like Pitcombe itself, aghast under the shock of the explosion of this lesbian firebomb. The fallout is so severe that both women, the cause of the eruption, have to move out.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, as usual 23 April 2008
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
Another well written novel by Ms Trollope, whose narrative flair manages to hold your attention even when you get annoyed by some of the narrow caricatures she presents. Clodagh comes across as the stereoptypical lesbian. But Trollopes books are full of stereotypes. Normally though they are of working class people, who are almost always portrayed as dull-witted, lecherous, or criminal, and sometimes all three. In Trollopes world, only the Upper Middle class do anything worthwhile; and even when they sin it's for noble reasons. Adulterous upper middle class husbands are free spirits; transfer their behaviour to working class men, and they are merely lechers. Similarly, lower class women are sluts, whereas promiscuity among upper middle class women is mere temperament.

Despite the kind of narrow minded shortcomings described above, I like her books. I can't wait to find out if she ever produces a sympathetic characterisation of a working class person. It seems unlikely!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Theme Treated Disappointingly 28 Feb 2012
By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Oh dear - this was a big disappointment after Trollope's 'The Choir'. A real pity as the main theme - woman in fairly humdrum marriage suddenly discovers that she's got lesbain leanings - could have been really interesting.

The story in short: Alice Jordan is married to the rich, rather dull solicitor Martin, and in an overly close relationship with her 'lady of the manor' mother-in-law Cicely, a gardening writer who has never recovered from the death of her first lover, which put pay to her career as a singer. Alice has clung to Martin and to Cicely and her exquisite manor house, 'Dummeridge', partly as an escape from her own neurotic mother and womanizing English lecturer father. She and Martin have three small, bratty children (this book is a good advert for never having kids!), a wonderful house in a small village outside Salisbury, and pots of money. However, Alice, an artist, is depressed - until the local Lord of the Manor's (another Manor, not Cicely's) daughter Clodagh comes home from the USA. Before long, Clodagh has seduced Alice, and they are having a passionate affair - but not before Martin has tried to get in with Clodagh too. Unfortunately, Alice's lesbian passion is short-lived; Martin's bad-brother Anthony turns up, keen to revenge himself after Alice spurned his advances some years before, and immediately works out what's going on. Of course, all hell breaks loose, and Alice, like many a Trollope heroine, has some impossible decisions to make.

I would have found the Alice/Clodagh affair very interesting had Trollope tried at all to make Clodagh sympathetic. But she's such a spoilt little rich girl that it's hard to understand the attraction between the two women, or why Alice even contemplates living with Clodagh.
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