Merrion Palmer has been Judge Guy Stockdale's mistress for the last seven years and his wife and two grown-up sons know absolutely nothing about her. Up until now, Guy and Merrion have enjoyed a blissfully, uncomplicated relationship in stolen moments in Merrion's flat, and to the rest of the world, Guy has played the part of model husband, father and grandfather.
But now the time has come for things to change. Guy has become conscious of wasted years and he wants to share his relationship with Merrion with the world. He wants, dammit, to marry her. Yet he is quite unprepared for the storm that will follow...
"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's 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's well aware that Guy is something of a father substitute. For years the role of mistress has suited her, but, suddenly, this style of relationship isn't enough for either of them. They've 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 saga Joanna Trollope comes a dexterous portrayal of the causes and effects of marital breakdown." (Amazon.com review)
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Joanna Trollope at her best !
Joanna Trollope explores family life presenting the intimate emotional heart of it. This book is so respectful of the validity of all the characters needs and allows the reader to share their pain and confusion in such an intimate but gritty manner.
An absorbing read
Yes, beautifully read and full of insight into family psyche
Jack - Because he was growing up and learning from his own and other people's experiences.
Yes, Brother & Sister. I felt this book was marginally more insightful.
The surprise ending and the reasons behind it.
I felt this book showed Joanna Trollope's empathy and amazing insight into the feelings experienced by people in their interactions with others, particularly as they relate to different aspects of love within a family.