An Unsuitable Match by Joanna Trollope: A Review
Joanna Trollope, a prolific British author, has written over twenty novels. An Unsuitable Match is her latest work, published in 2017. With its stunning cover image and engaging blurb, the book seems to promise an intriguing exploration of relationships, family dynamics, and modern romance. So, how successful is this novel in delivering on that promise?
An Unsuitable Match revolves around two central characters, Rose and Tyler. Rose, a sixty-one-year-old woman, has been a widow for a few years and is content with her solitary life. However, she surprises herself and her family by embarking on a new romance with Tyler, a younger man who is in the process of divorcing his wife, Mandy. Tyler, for his part, is drawn to Rose’s intelligence, independence, and wit, but must navigate the conflicting emotions of his soon-to-be ex-wife as well as the disapproval of some of his friends.
The novel follows the different characters as they struggle to come to terms with this unexpected relationship. In particular, the focus is on Rose’s family, who have mixed reactions to Tyler’s entrance into their lives. Rose’s two adult children, Gareth and Kitty, have their own relationships and issues which also intersect with the central plot. Gareth is worried about inheritance and the dilution of his father’s memory, while Kitty is dealing with infertility and the pressure to have a child. Meanwhile, Mandy becomes a thorn in Tyler and Rose’s side, as she alternates between anger and desperation.
Themes and Ideas
An Unsuitable Match explores several central themes and ideas that will resonate with readers. One of the most prominent is the concept of ageism and the societal expectations placed on people, particularly women, when they reach a certain age. Trollope portrays Rose’s situation with care and sensitivity, highlighting the different attitudes towards her relationship with Tyler. It is refreshing to see a story that challenges traditional narratives around age and romance.
The novel also tackles the themes of family, inheritance, and the consequences of the choices we make. Rose’s family is a complicated web of relationships that are both supportive and critical. Trollope does well in portraying the intergenerational dynamics and the issues that can arise when parents enter new relationships later in life.
Another theme that the novel touches on is the concept of identity and how it can be shaped by relationships. Through the character of Mandy, who struggles to define herself beyond her role as a wife, Trollope explores the idea of lost identity and the struggle to regain autonomy.
Trollope’s writing style is engaging and accessible. She uses simple language and vivid descriptions to draw the reader into the story. The pace of the novel is steady, with moments of tension and conflict interspersed with moments of reflection and introspection.
One criticism of the novel is that some of the characters are not fully fleshed out. While Rose and Tyler are well-defined, some of the supporting characters come across as two-dimensional. Additionally, some readers may find the resolution of the novel to be somewhat predictable.
Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the strengths of An Unsuitable Match is its portrayal of intergenerational relationships. Trollope writes with sensitivity about the different perspectives and experiences of the different characters. Additionally, the exploration of ageism and modern romance is timely and thought-provoking.
One weakness of the novel is its pacing. At times, the story feels slow and drawn-out, which may lose the interest of some readers. Additionally, some of the characters are not fully realized, which can make it difficult for the reader to invest in their journeys.
Comparison to other works
An Unsuitable Match can be compared to other novels that explore similar themes and ideas. In particular, it shares similarities with Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. All three novels are centered around unconventional relationships and the challenges that come with them.
However, An Unsuitable Match differs from these works in its more subdued tone and emphasis on family dynamics. While Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are focused on individual characters and their personal journeys, An Unsuitable Match is more character-driven and explores the impact of one relationship on an entire family.
Overall, An Unsuitable Match is a well-written and engaging novel that is sure to appeal to fans of modern romance and family sagas. While it has some weaknesses in terms of pacing and character development, the novel is successful in its exploration of ageism and family dynamics. I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy stories that challenge traditional narratives and offer nuanced insights into complex relationships.
Who is Joanna Trollope?
Joanna Trollope is a British author who has written over twenty novels. She is known for her exploration of contemporary family life and relationships.
What is An Unsuitable Match about?
An Unsuitable Match is a novel about a widow named Rose who falls in love with a younger man named Tyler. The novel explores the challenges of intergenerational relationships and the impact of this unexpected romance on Rose’s family.
What are the themes of An Unsuitable Match?
An Unsuitable Match explores several central themes and ideas, including ageism, family dynamics, inheritance, identity, and modern romance.
How does An Unsuitable Match compare to other novels with similar themes?
An Unsuitable Match can be compared to other novels that explore similar themes, such as Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. However, it differs in its emphasis on family dynamics and its more subdued tone.
Would you recommend An Unsuitable Match?
Overall, yes, I would recommend An Unsuitable Match to readers who enjoy stories that challenge traditional narratives and offer nuanced insights into complex relationships.