BOOK CLUB: An Unsuitable Match

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[Total: 2 Average: 3.5]

Author: Joanna Trollope
ISBN: 9781509855636
RRP: $29.99
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

An Unsuitable Match is the first I have read of Joanna Trollope’s work, and it’s the bestselling British author’s twenty-first novel.

I’m a little torn and still  not quite sure how I’m feeling about this one. I enjoyed the story and I must say I loved that Trollope has written a story of second chances at love later in life. Our leads are in their sixties and feeling the flush of new love, the excitement of new beginnings and the possibilities that open up when you least expect it.

I have to say, I think the characterisation was all quite realistic and I did feel I got to know the characters, but I didn’t really like them very much.

An Unsuitable Match is the story of Rose and Tyler, and their children. A chance meeting at the theatre reconnects Rose and Tyler forty-seven years after they first met as teens. Rose has been divorced for years and is quite enjoying her independence so it is quite a shock to her grown children that she is planning to remarry.

Trollope does an admirable job exploring the issues facing such a mature couple, because looking at marriage in your sixties is a completely different prospect to marrying in your twenties. It is a time of life when you are much more aware of the world, the future and the need to be able to protect yourself.

All families are different and the dynamic won’t ever be the same so it’s nice to explore different family dynamics if they’re well written. An Unsuitable Match brings together two families with very different dynamics which creates quite a contrast. Rose and her three children have always been very close, in almost daily contact and there has never been any question that her children are Rose’s top priority. Her ex-husband calls one of the children every Sunday so even continents apart they are in contact weekly.

Tyler and his children are a completely different family and it’s hard to really pinpoint the story there, it’s all a little biased perspective point of views that don’t quite show what it was really like. We saw Tyler reaching out to his children as they all grieved the loss of his wife and through the healing process but Seth and Mallory have their own lives, very separate from that of their father.

Rose’s children are not thrilled with the idea of her remarrying and Trollope explores this with sensitive insight through the secondary characters in the novel. It isn’t that they don’t want their mother to be happy but they need to know she won’t be taken advantage of, they need to come to terms with not being her number one priority, and their may even be a hint of jealousy to explore.

Tyler’s children seem to be indifferent and unaffected by the turn of events, even if a little surprised, but on closer inspection that might not quite be the case. The motivations here are completely different to those of Rose’s children because their lives have been so completely different.

Trollope explores families, relationships and the excitement and trepidation of finding love in your sixties. Her characters have depth and they all did a lot of growing throughout the course of the novel. Rose’s whirlwind romance saw them all embark on some heavy self-reflection and make changes in their lives, whether it was strictly by choice or not is neither here nor there.

I did enjoy the story and to an extent I could understand the viewpoint of Rose’s children, for the most part they were just worried about their mum. At the same time though they acted quite a lot like spoiled teenagers concerned more with their expected inheritance than their mother’s happiness.

Tyler’s children were quite distant for the most part, too caught up in their own lives to worry much what Dad was up to. They cared, in that obligatory familial way but it wasn’t until deeper introspection started that they discovered perhaps they cared a little more than they thought.

I think I would have enjoyed the story more if the children hadn’t seemed so set on making Rose see things the way they did, while at the same time also being more caught up in themselves and how Rose’s actions would affect them.

It all came together in a way that I wasn’t quite expecting but it was a satisfying ending and I would recommend the book. Some fantastic character explorations, though some frustrating characters, and very much a character driven story rather than action packed.

Joanna Trollope can be followed on her website and Facebook.

An Unsuitable Match is published by Pan Macmillan and is available now through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pan MacMillan a selection of our Beauty and Lace club members are also reading and reviewing An Unsuitable Match so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.




16 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: An Unsuitable Match

  1. An Unsuitable Match was an easy and enjoyable read.
    This book looks at relationships during our lives at different stages. The parents relationships were controlled very much by their children.
    There were many strong characters which stood out.
    If you are looking for a love story, this book is for you.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace for allowing me to read this book.

    Thank you to the author Joanna Trollope for writing a relative positive book which looks at relationships on a lighter note. At stages this book gave you hope that no matter what age a person is , there is always someone out there for everyone.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was done in two days.

  2. An Unsuitable Match just loved this story…. or perhaps I could relate to the story-line from personal experience….. So “today” exploring older people falling in love and the turbulence they experience when blending a grown family and the issues they face or the perceived issues through grown children’s eyes.

    The story was well written to explore and relate how others feel they have rights when it comes to your own happiness. It delves into the feelings and selfishness of adults (kids) who should know better and just allow some happiness for their mother.

    Definitely a good read especially if you have been through this type of situation… or thinking of it (?) … it gives an insight into how families actually think and how difficult a simple situation like falling in love can be even as an adult and also explores what “rights” your family think they have when it comes to your life and assets…..

    Thank you for choosing me review this book it will be a favorite for a while!

  3. I’ve read every book by Joanna Trollope – some of them twice. And like some readers here, I am not liking her characters … I’m often amazed that I read on and get all involved with people I’m not sure I like! This novel was also the case. Her people mystify. Why do they do what they do? And yet real life is like that.

  4. An Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope, well…. I’m just not sure about this book. The characters were pains! I felt like perhaps they’d get better, but that was not the case. It was a very well written book and had me seeing things from different sides, it also had me praying I wouldn’t be put in that situation. This was a book that makes you think, I also needed a wine afterward haha.
    Thanks for the review Beauty & Lace x

  5. I was crossing my fingers that I would get a chance to review this book. I have been a fan of Joanna Trollope’s for way too many years., having read most of her books
    “An Unsuitable Match” was like most of Trollope’s works,:you grow to know the characters. The author has a way of making you feel that the characters could be living in your street or town as she deals with situations that most of us face.
    In this novel however I did not have as much affinity with the main characters as usual. I’m thinking it is as they all seemed a little too precious, especially the children
    “An Unsuitable Match” touches on love at a later stage in life. When Rose and Tyler announce their engagement to their adult children they could not have anticipated the reactions and the ripples that ensue
    This is a lovely gentle book to read. It raises some big issues but in a way that is not too confronting. A very enjoyable read
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Bookclub and Pan McMillan for the opportunity to read and review this novel

  6. An Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope is a fantastic book that was hard to put down. When Rose Woodrowe’s marriage falls apart she tries hard to get her life back on track for the sake of her three children – even though they have all grown up and left home.
    As part of her divorce settlement Rose purchases a mews house within 5 minutes of Oxford Street and settles in quite contentedly for the next 7 years. The children are worried for their mother whose whole life has revolved around the three of them and her Doctor husband. How will she cope? Their fears are recognised when she falls for Tyler Masson – she met him when she was 16 at a tennis camp- and at 64 years young she is enamoured all over again.
    For Rose’s children, after watching their mother being blindsided by their father, they are extremely wary on her behalf. Is Tyler good for her? How is Tyler supporting himself and is Rose just a way for Tyler to support himself as he appears to have no income and since when does Rose want to sell her mews house and move to the country?
    This book was easy to read and totally enjoyable. Thank you to Beauty and Lace Pan MacMillan for allowing me to read this book.

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