I love Joanna Trollope's work. This novel was a quietly compelling read with some impish authorial touches -- taking the cat's point of view for a couple of pages, for instance.
I don't know if it's fair for me to be disappointed that one of the main characters never really comes to grips with her own flaws and those of the man she loved. I simply can't imagine being so out of touch with reality that I would come on to a man I knew was married, set up house with him, have three kids with him, somehow accept the fact that he never got a divorce and therefore never married me, and then, more than twenty years later, feel nothing but anger -- self-righteous
anger -- toward his wife and the 14-year-old son he left.
I don't mean that people can't do horrible things, or dumb things, or regrettable things -- especially when we're young and infatuated. But this is a woman who's supposed to be an otherwise reasonable person, whose friends and family apparently find her likeable.
I'm glad that Trollope didn't force a moment of clarity and a big group hug; but I won't be coming back to this book (the way I do to some of her other works) because I just don't want to spend so much page time with someone so insistently wrongheaded about something so important.
(Plus two of the daughter characters never quite jelled for me and came across as rather annoying. And what kind of name is "Dilly," anyway?)