A Spanish Lover (by Joanna Trollope)

I only discovered Joanna Trollope in the last few years, and am slowly working my way through her novels. They're modern, character-driven love stories mostly; some so-called aga-sagas and village novels, and usually a little harder-hitting than most books of these genres.

'A Spanish Lover' is about Lizzie and Frances, who are twins. They are emotionally close to each other, and yet very different in character.

Lizzie is domesticated and well-organised, settled with a husband and children. Frances, by contrast, is single and runs a travel business. In her travels, she meets and falls in love with a Spaniard.

As Lizzie's secure life starts to develop problems due to the recession in England, Francis begins to consider long-term security and thinks she might settle down. The balance is upset; Lizzie becomes disturbed, and the twins' closeness is threatened.

A crisis ensues when Frances decides not to come for Christmas... but all is resolved in an encouraging ending.

I particularly liked the characters of the children in this story, but they were all well-rounded and believable, and the subplots worked well together.

Recommended. I shall certainly be reading this one again.

(Update: here is my longer review of 'A Spanish Lover', written after re-reading in 2009)

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