A reasonably quick read for an afternoon A quick read I felt the ending was rushed Not one of her best ones Felt dreadfully sorry for Isabel. Dan is husband to Alexa, father to twin girls, Flora and Tassy, stepfather to Isabel, son, grandson, son in law, friend and soldier On return from a six month deployment in Afghanistan Dan cannot seem to find what he is any Being a soldier is the easiest for him than returning to family life, the army life gives him structure, purpose and plenty of knowns Families bring plenty of unknowns and no orders on how to deal with them Alexa adores her husband and knew exactly what she was getting into upon marriage to Dan and marriage in effect to the army Constant moving, no property that actually you can call your own, making new friends Leaving old ones behind as you go to the next posting Changing schools for the children, in fact it is an upheaval, but with Dan away she is the one to make it work, to fix everything when he is back she wants to share that responsibility and become Alexa Riley and not Mrs Major Riley Dan does not understand, nobody is talking, whilst all around them lives are fracturing in their own way Isabel is determined to make her point about boarding school, she does not want to be there no one asked her and the only reason she is, is because of the Army, because of Dan Alexa has a chance of a job, to become herself for a few hours a day, away from the children but she knows she cannot take it, because of the Army, because of Dan And so Dan is the catalyst of this story which taps into a conscious of many readers who have experience of not just the Army but the other armed forces as well I am a passive observer of such in my working life and can see the correlations that Joanna Trollope has covered Times are changing and for the better It is a story about finding that happy balance, not just for those left at home those coming back as well Trollope taps into something, and shows us inside an institution warts and all Criticism is abound because it focuses on the officer class soldiers and not the average squaddie in the story but actually it reflects everyone s part Talking to the Brigadier and his wife, you sense that both Dan and Alexa feel inferior The book goes a long way to show the class structure, the snobbery, the them and us that makes up part of all these institutions.A book, which traverses along at a reasonable pace, there was a sense of undercurrent all the way through as the readers are watching something disintegrate It would not if there was the right time to tell of what has happened at home as well as on the front line And the right support to deal with wives and girlfriends wanting to not be an extension of their husbands but actually someone to be recognised in their own right They married the man not the Army, is Trollope s theme throughout.It is apparent that research and thought has gone into this book why shouldn t it because it deals with those who come back from Afghanistan not the people they went with The scenes where they are dealing with drugs within the regiment, the hard drinking,marriages breaking up, the rehabilitation of those who have lost limbs and the remembrance of those who did not make it back is handled in my opinion well without being too graphic or rose coloured in view The references to previous conflicts through Dan s father and grandfather both ex Army was a good tool for reflecting the change that has happened on how returning to domestic and home life can be dealt with and has been What the outside world sees is very different from the reality of living with that reunion Trollope handles it efficiently and effectively, candidly and with empathy without patronising those it is happening to now in the here and now Having read only one Joanna Trollope novel many moons ago, I was thrilled to read this book as it has all the composite parts of being an excellent book in typical Trollope style It would also make a good adaptation for television provided its handled with as much care as Trollope has done with the plot and the characters.An interesting and thought provoking read, one which I will remember for a long time. The Brilliant, Mesmerizing Storyteller The Washington Post Joanna Trollope Illuminates An Experience Shared By Millions Of People A Soldier S Return To Family Life Causes Three Generations Of A Family To Struggle With The Impact Of War On Their RelationshipsWHAT HAPPENS WHEN LOVE AND DUTY COLLIDE DAN RILEY IS A MAJOR IN THE BRITISH ARMY After A Six Month Tour Of Duty In Afghanistan, He Is Coming Home To The Wife And Young Daughters He Adores He S Up For Promotion And His Ex Army Grandfather And Father Couldn T Be Prouder The Rileys Are United In Support Of Dan S Passion For His Career But Are They Really His Wife, Alexa, Has Been Offered A Good Teaching Job She Can T Take Because The Army May Move The Family At Any Time Her Daughter Isabel Hates Her Boarding School The Only Good Educational Option For Army Families And Starts Running Away And Dan Spends All His Time On The Base, Unable To Break The Strong Bonds Forged With His Friends In Battle Soon Everyone Who Knows The Rileys Is Trying To Help Them Save Their Marriage, But It S Up To Alexa To Decide If She Can Sacrifice Her Needs And Those Of Her Family To Support Dan S Commitment To His Work With Her Trademark Intelligence And Grace, Joanna Trollope Illuminates The Complexities Of Modern Life In This Story Of A Family Striving To Balance Duty And Ambition When Joanna Trollope is good, she can actually be great But when she s not it s a bit of a slog And unfortunately that was the case with this one I m sympathetic to the themes here how do modern military families cope with the fact that soldiers wives have ambitions and careers of their own in the face of an overly traditional military that assumes they will drop everything for their husbands careers but it all felt a bit didactic and heavy handed I also did not quite understand the obsessive interest that all the peripheral characters parents, grandparents, friends seemed to have in the marriage of Alexa and Dan How exactly did they magically KNOW that the marriage was perhaps in trouble And how and why did they actually think they could do anything about it I have really enjoyed some of Trollope s novels, but this was not among them. A writer such as Trollope can take a reader and place her likely him considerably less likely into a groove from page one and transport seamlessly through a three hundred or so pages to, invariably, a neat, satisfying resolution When on song, as she is in this novel, the reader will lose all track of time as this skilled practitioner inveigles the reader to care about her protagonists to the degree that there is always an unsatisfactory sigh emanating as the book is placed to one side to deal with life s mundane minutiae.For seventeen titles this aga sagaist has been at this it must be so second nature to her now Take a group of not especially significant people, place them in domestic situations, stir in a few pressures to make the threads of life fray, and then guide them through the sorting out process to an aforementioned ending, to cause a sigh of a different nature from her public.Here the non significant is Alexa, chaffing in her role as army wife, trying to contend with husband Dan, still on a high after his third sortie to Afghanistan Now my father World War 2 and brother in law Vietnam never had the emphasis that soldiers have placed on their re entry to normal service life after an deployment these days, and their generations would consider this conflict, Iran and probably the Falklands which features as minor skirmishes But that would be unfair, and certainly Dan s father and grandfather do not subscribe to that view These two are probably Trollope s best creations in this salutary tale, although Beetle the dog is particularly attractive too.Throw in a feisty teenage daughter, an engaging pair of twins and some army buddies wives similarly afflicted, to various degrees, with their returns , and we have a potently heady mix for reader entrapment.Maybe Trollope could be criticised here for a too pat ending, and by this civvy for some over the top army speak Maybe a few of her characters drift into the mien of stiff upper lip clich , but having read all her titles, this reader, like her devoted fans, know what to expect, and are disappointed when she strays from her winning formula I enjoyed A Soldier s Wife immensely. Ah, finally I think 3 stars are fairly enough I like The Soldier s Wife for many reasons It employs creativity It sends you into the world of soldiers and the army You get to know many stuff you thought were totally the opposite The main theme is captivating, Couples have got to TALK Taciturn, long life between couples is rather dangerous It uses marriage as the relationship between all characters, not the date then marry one.However, this book has given me a hard time while I was reading it Over 400 pages are too much for the events It was boring, but I liked it, but still it was boring Er, I feel like all characters are exaggerating in their reactions to the almost invisible problem All characters relatives, friends, comrades somehow sense that the mood is awkward between Alexa and Dan, and all of them die to make it up between them For God s sake Alexa wants to talk to him since page 1 Finally, Dan says he ll listen in page 400 You must have a lot of patience, woman In summation, The Soldier s Wife is nice, but I won t advise anyone to read it I hope someone else will write about the same topic but make it interesting Only then, I ll be willing to read it. I could personally only relate to some of the struggles Alexa goes through as the wife of a British Army officer, but I think Joanna Trollope did an excellent job describing the conflicting emotions military wives go through continuously and the different ways they cope with those emotional challenges Although I often wanted to throttle Alexa for her indecisiveness, I like how Trollope eventually makes her characters and her readers remember what we all know to be the main factor in any working relationship, military or civilian compromise.Nevertheless, I was cheering for Great Granddad Eric when he yelled at his grandson that t hat girl, Daniel, will be here when the Army s OVER for you Or she will if you treat her right And in the end, where would you bloody be, soldiering or not, without her HOOAH, grandpa I love Joanna Trollope s novels for their insightful examination of human relationships and human frailties The Soldier s Wife is set mostly on a military base in the UK, and focuses on the challenges facing personnel in the modern Army What sacrifices must a woman make when she commits to the life of an army wife What compromises are necessary How does a long deployment impact on the emotional health of both partners Through central couple Dan Riley, a major in the British Army who is just home from a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan, and his wife Alexa, a qualified teacher, Trollope explores the issues surrounding the home lives of army families I found this novel an absorbing and compelling read one of the best of Trollope s many excellent novels The characters are very real and the scenarios utterly convincing. I have a thing about finishing every book I start, otherwise I would have closed this and sent it to the charity shop I have read a couple of her books and quite enjoyed them but I was totally BORED by the storyline which I found extremely laboured and I did not warm to one single character Not one I get the message my bother in law was an officer in the Royal Navy for over twenty five years, served in Korea and the Falklands and the family moved around 16 times My niece eventually boarded I recognised the various types I hated reading this book and was so relieved when it was over Horrible characters. It is difficult to be the family member of someone in the military whether they are deployed or not The military always seems to come first and non military family doesn t understand what their loved one is going through My brother was in the Army and was deployed overseas two or three times I know it was difficult for our parents and even so for his wife It was hard for him adjusting when he returned to the States and at times I did not recognize the man my brother had become Many relationships of military members deteriorate over time because the spouses feel stuck and are afraid to start new jobs or friendships because they don t know when they ll be forced to be uprooted next In The Soldier s Wife, Alexa Riley is trying to hold her family together She has a daughter, Isabel, from a previous marriage who she thinks isn t as important to her husband, Dan, as the twin daughters they have together Alexa is trying to balance the needs of Dan, Isabel, the twins, and, of course, her own needs Now Dan s home from Afghanistan, but he d rather spend time with Gus his army buddy than his own family Alexa tries to understand, but she doesn t have the knowledge base to feel useful to her husband Alexa feels as if her life is spiraling out of control and has nowhere to turn The Army has a lot of programs to support the soldiers, but is sorely lacking a support structure for the rest of the family Touching, poignant, and timely as many of our soldiers come home, The Soldier s Wife will give readers an inside look at the lives of military families.
Caroline Harvey Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather s rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope She is the eldest of three siblings She is a fifth generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trollope She was educated at Reigate County School for Girls followed by St Hugh s College, Oxford On 14 May 1966, she married the banker David Roger William Potter, they had two daughters, Antonia and Louise, and on 1983 they divorced In 1985, she remarried to the television dramatist Ian Curteis, and became the stepmother of two stepsons they divorced in 2001 Today, she is a grandmother and lives on her own in London.From 1965 to 1967, she worked at the Foreign Office From 1967 to 1979, she was employed in a number of teaching posts before she became a writer full time in 1980 Her novel Parson Harding s Daughter won in 1980 the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists Association.
- 302 pages
- The Soldier's Wife
- Joanna Trollope
- 04 November 2019 Joanna Trollope