#BookReview Mum and Dad by Joanna Trollope

‘What a mess, she thought now . . . what a bloody, unholy mess the whole family has got itself into.’

It’s been twenty-five years since Gus and Monica left England to start a new life in Spain, building a vineyard and wine business from the ground up. However, when Gus suffers a stroke and their idyllic Mediterranean life is thrown into upheaval, it’s left to their three grown-up children in London to step in . . .

Sebastian is busy running his company with his wife, Anna, who’s never quite seen eye-to-eye with her mother-in-law. 

Katie, a successful solicitor in the City, is distracted by the problems with her long-term partner, Nic, and the secretive lives of their three daughters. 

And Jake, ever the easy-going optimist, is determined to convince his new wife, Bella, that moving to Spain with their eighteen-month-old would be a good idea.

As the children descend on the vineyard, it becomes clear that each has their own idea of how best to handle their mum and dad, as well as the family business. But as long-simmering resentments rise to the surface and tensions reach breaking point, can the family ties prove strong enough to keep them together?

My thoughts:

Thank you to Pan MacMillan for a digital review copy of this book – my thoughts are my own.

This is the first Joanna Trollope book I’ve read for quite a few years. The story revolves around a family – parents running a vineyard in Spain with 3 grown up children and seven grandchildren living back in the UK.

When Gus, the father and grandfather has a stroke out in Spain, the family dynamics start to change. The story looks at how the three siblings deal with the past (two had been sent to English boarding schools whilst the youngest grew up in Spain) and move forward with helping their parents. Monica, the mum and grandmother grew up in a very different era to her daughter and daughter-in-laws. The grandchildren vary in ages from party going teenagers to a toddling baby.

As a mum of two teenagers, with elderly parents living 160 miles away, I found the story interesting and enjoyable. There is a large amount of characters but no different to an episode of Cold Feet. The story evolves well, secrets are kept and discovered, old grievances are aired and new relationships are formed.

This book captures modern family life pre global pandemic and was an enjoyable read. Looking at other reviews, it does appear to have divided opinions but personally I enjoyed travelling backwards and forwards to Spain with the family.

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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