The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Second Honeymoon, by Joanna Trollope

This book was a disappointment in that it was merely brain candy. The only thing I got from it is that I don’t quite understand why Trollope is so popular. Fine, she writes well, but I didn’t care for her characters. This was the story of a family of self-absorbed and selfish individuals. After a while, I started wondering why I was supposed to care what they wanted – and they all wanted something, usually in the form of capitulation by other family members. How boring!

So let’s see what’s wrong with the Boyd family. Edie wants her adult children to each be about 20 years younger than they are and can’t deal with the fact that the baby of the family finally left home. Her husband, Russell, feels she should be shifting her attention back to him now. This actually makes sense, though it’s easier said than done, obviously, and Edie appears to have zero interest in Russell as anything other than a sperm donor and emergency-back-up parent to her children. Oldest child Matt wants his girlfriend, Ruth, to read his mind about his financial situation, since he won’t discuss it with her and stupidly breaks up with her over information he never shared. Middle child Rosa loses her job and wants some support from those around her, which makes sense except that she’s somewhat demanding, which is off-putting. And youngest child Ben wants to live with his girlfriend and no one else, but instead lives with her and her mother. Man up, Ben! There’s also a sad-sack adult orphan whom Edie sort of adopts, and his problem is that he isn’t even together enough to want anything.

Finally, there’s a cat, Arsie, who wants a warm place to nap. Arsie makes sense, which most of the people seem to recognize. And therefore this book is SAFE for animal lovers. But I don’t recommend it.

However, one interesting thing Trollope did after the acknowledgements was to recommend other books. Of those I’d already read, about half were good and half were bombs. I have subsequently read a few of the other books, and the 50/50 split remains. Their reviews are forthcoming.

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November 26, 2008 - Posted by | Book Reviews, literature | , ,

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