BOOK CLUB: An Unsuitable Match

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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 I loved it because it got to the point about a new relationship with grown up children involved. They worried about their mother, and money of course.
    A good read if you want to know what happens.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this story due to the fact that I could be reading a friend’s real story of her marriage and relationships. The cover is gorgeous also.

    Rose is aged 64 and her first marriage ended in divorce 7 years earlier but from that marriage she had a daughter Laura and twins Emmy & Nat. Rose now has 2 grandchildren from Laura’s marriage who she dotes on.

    After being alone for all those years, she goes to an event where she meets someone from her past.
    Tyler Masson and Rose had met when Rose had been seventeen and Tyler was 16. Tyler was also on his own due to his wife dying of cancer but he had grown up children also. Mallory was a young aspiring actress and Seth had a girlfriend and their passion was running their own bakery. Money was a bit of an issue though.

    After spending four months being with Tyler, he knew that he wanted to marry Rose and Rose was ready for marriage herself. They were ready to tell their kids what their plans were.

    Second marriages can be smooth sailing or go pear shaped when you have older kids on either side. Some will be accepting while others throw the sign of caution in the air at the parent. There will be upsets, tensions and turmoils as you read this book. This book really was a page turner for me as I really wanted to know how it all panned out.

    When it comes to the pages of seeing a Solicitor it really rocks you at how some kids can be so insecure when it comes to new relationships. It seems that the Will is more important to them than their parent’s happiness. This caused alot of sadness for me and I did shed a few tears feeling for Rose.

    I really felt for Rose in that for her the most difficult lesson to learn was which bridge in life to use or which one to break off. Tyler was pressuring Rose to sell her much loved home and move to a cottage that they could start up their new life with.

    New beginnings in life are about being true to yourself and not succumbing to pressures by other people to make you confirm to their ideas of what you should be. I’ve been there and I have learnt that love doesn’t require two people to actually look at each other but hopefully they look together in the same direction.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Panmacmillan for giving me the opportunity of reading this book.

    To the author Joanna, you have certainly captured the characters well in this book with showing that there are family tensions when one marriage is dissolved and new marriages are sought after. A fantastic read that will stay with me for a while.

  3. An Unsuitable match was a very different and unusual book and storyline. I found the speed and events along with the characters to build to crescendo and peak, the tension wonderfully written but, I found it to be lacking somehow. Not the whole book, just the ending. Maybe it just wasn’t what I was expecting, I am just not sure I understood it.

    While it wasn’t the usual happy ending that you find, everyone happy and a perfect ending, I am unsure of why Rose did what she did, she did say she loved him!

    It was a great way of showing that having money and not having money can result in the same thing. I thought Tyler was a user from the start, even tho he stated he was just not into money or cared about money, when I think it was a brush over, he did really. It was more his total lack of regard concerning others and their opinions. He came across as someone who wanted to be taken care of, as someone who uses others as a means to an end, but maybe he really did love Rose, and only knew the one way to show it. But I don’t think so, it was just one layer that everyone could see.

    Luckily Rose woke up to herself and realised the truth. She was an interesting character, I hope I never find myself at odds with my children and put them into a situation that they find they have to have meetings about me!! One minute shes the sweet lady from down the road and the next she is making life changing decisions. Perhaps she is more like some others I know than I realise!

    I loved the interaction between all the family members, how they were woven together and bounced off each other. I think they all found out a lot more about themselves and how much they each mean to each other as a result, but again I didnt like the ending ( like is a funny word to use) It didn’t sit with the rest of the book. and I just couldn’t see it.

    Other than that, it was well written and flowed nicely , had a good pace, we got a good insight into each of their lives and thoughts.

    Lovely weekend read, thank you for the read!

  4. Joanna Trollope an Unsuitable Match- 3/5 stars- most enjoyable read. I too have not read this author before and so was very glad to get the chance, thanks to Beauty and Lace and PanMacmillan! I started to browse the story as soon as the book arrived in the mail and was quickly sucked in to want to read more. The characters are interesting, and frankly annoying and it is some of that, that makes you want to read more. Let me expain, Rose you really want to be stronger, more self-assure, more able to take decisions for herself, there are some steps (the house for example) where she does but in the early part she gets all worked up about her bossy kids. Similarly, Tyler, you want him to stand up for himself more too. The story develops about these two, the money the house and the children, much of this again feels true but you do want to slap them sometimes… no spoilers but I enjoyed the book but was left feeling unsure why exactly!

  5. Rose, not long divorced and Tyler not long widowed have reignited a friendship which leads to romance. An Unsuitable Match is about them falling in love and planning a future together but their children have different ideas. Family views, some strong, others indifferent make for an enlightening story which I am sure has more truth of reality.
    Rose’s children, Laura, Emmy and Nat have strong opinions which they hope she hears but Tyler’s children are quite indifferent and focus more on themselves.
    Where does this story lead? Happy ending for some, not others. Money is a huge factor but so is realiability and trust, independence and support.
    A different story, characters I couldn’t fall for but have empathy for.
    Solid read!

  6. This book is from best-selling author, Joanna Trollope. It is a simple-enough idea exploring the issues associated with a mature couple but it is rendered in one highly-engaging way. The characters absolutely leapt off the page and I was wondering where she was going to go with this, at times trying to second-guess my way through this novel.

    In the end I was treated to a fun exploration of family dynamics and aging. Enjoy being in the passenger seat cos you’re in for an interesting ride.

  7. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and Beauty & Lace Book Club, I have read Joanna Trollope’s work for the first time.

    The author thoroughly explores the characters feelings throughout this story, unfortunately, I was unable to connect with any of them and found them to be very annoying and generally unlikeable. I just wanted to shake the ‘adult’ children for their thoroughly selfish and self-absorbed reactions towards their mother in particular and life in general. I also wanted to shake the mother for pandering to her children as much as she did and tell her to grow a backbone and get some independence.

    Although I didn’t really enjoy this story, I can see how it would appeal to other readers. 3/5 stars.

  8. An Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope is an unusual story with a different type of storyline.

    Joanna Trollope explores the characters feelings throughout this story, unfortunately, I found it hard to connect with them and found them to generally be unlikeable and always thinking of themselves.
    The story follows Rose’s reignited friendship with Tyler after 47 years from their first meeting as teens. Rose who is now divorced and Tyler recently widowed. It’s about Rose and Tyler falling in love and planning their future together, their children have a different idea. Rose’s children Laura and twins Emmy and Nat are very opiniated re their feelings and Tyler’s children only focus on themselves.

    Of concern to Rose’s family is the fact that Tyler would take advantage of Rose, and one thing that was noticeable throughout the story is that Tyler is always stating that he doesn’t have any money nor cared about money, I felt he was a just user but maybe he really did love Rose. Tyler did want Rose to sell her home and start a new life with him in the country, it always seemed Tyler wanted everything that he planned not what Rose may necessarily want.

    With Rose trying to keep her children and Tyler happy she has some tough decisions to make. Whilst it may not be the usual ending that we would all like the story to have it was a little unusual with Rose doing what she did, she did tell Tyler that she loved him, but why?

    A thought provoking story of the different dynamics of families and how our children can really care about us, but we really do not know until things in their and your life changes.

  9. An unsuitable match takes you on a relationship journey but a mature relationship.

    Rose is a grandmother who is not long divorced when an old crush comes back into her life by chance. It’s a story about the impact relationships later in life have on families and the individuals in the relationship.

    Was a little bit slow to get into this book as I seemed to have lost my trail a lot whilst reading it.

    All in all a good book possibly a 3 out of 5 stars

  10. I enjoyed reading this book the further along I got. Rose is a strong character who has always put her children first. Seeing their reaction to their mum finding a new love was interesting & their opinions changed thoughout the novel especially when they found love themselves & also when it would work to their advantage & receive some money. Although they soon seen this was not the right decision for their mum & told her so.

    This novels shows the complications of falling in love later in life or a 2nd time when one is financially stable & the other is not.

    An enjoyable read

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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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