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Saturday, 11 January 2014


The Other Family by Joanna Trollope set in London and Newcastle upon Tyne

Richie is the link between two families who live 300 miles apart, in London and in Newcastle upon Tyne. Two families; one wife, one partner and four children. Intriguing.

But then Richie, a successful musician, suddenly dies and leaves the two families with different problems to sort out. The two families have never met but know of each other. Richie never divorced his first wife, Margaret who lives in Tynemouth with a son, Scott who is in his late 30s. In London, I’m not sure where, Chrissie tries to pick up the pieces of her devastating loss with her three daughters, Tamsin, Dilly and Amy. The reading of Richie’s will brings the family together over a sentimental legacy. Changes have to be made but there is an issue with acceptance of the situation they find themselves in.

But how does it bring them together?

Joanna Trollope successfully portrays the emotions and dynamics of family life and relationships.

The novel is set in two different cities. I know Newcastle upon Tyne well and the buildings mentioned, The Sage and The Baltic to name a few. I can picture these iconic buildings and the view that is described of the Tyne Bridge from Scott’s city centre flat. But I am wondering if there is a strong enough emphasis upon the place that other readers would want to visit if they had not before. But Newcastle upon Tyne does have a hold for one of the family members not only because of its difference to London but also because of the music opportunities she can take. And of course Newcastle upon Tyne has long associations with many iconic musicians: Sting, Dire Straits, Bryan Ferry, Lindisfarne, The Lighthouse Family, and Cheryl Cole....(to mention but a few).

This is an interesting read and once again Joanna Trollope has written a winner with her successful style. Some of the sentences take up half a page. It took me a while to get used to this; but it reads like someone having the conversation in their head. However, for me the cities could have been anywhere and I don’t know if I would have wanted to visit them. But after all this book is about people, relationships, their struggles and coming to terms with a new future.

Thanks to Ann Reddy for reviewing this for TripFiction If you would like to really get under the skin of the North East of England, then we have many novels that will do that for you. Just click here And London as you can imagine is really well represented on the website!

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