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Marrying the Mistress

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  1,865 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Merrion Palmer has been Judge Guy Stockdale's mistress for the last seven years and his wife and two grown-up sons know absolutely nothing about her. Up until now, Guy and Merrion have enjoyed a blissfully, uncomplicated relationship in stolen moments in Merrion's flat, and to the rest of the world, Guy has played the part of model husband, father and grandfather.

But now t
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Paperback, 333 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Black Swan (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Elaina
Jul 18, 2007 Elaina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Someone gave this book, and I will say that it was engaging. But somehow the values seem messed up. It's all about this guy who cheats on his wife of forty-something years and him and his mistress are made out to be the good guys and the cheated on, nagging though not that bad wife is the bad guy. I know things aren't always black and white, and maybe the book is meant to challenge pre-conceptions. Whatever.
Crystal
May 12, 2009 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a Trollope sort of month. Joanna is some distant relative of Anthony. I'd seen the Masterpiece Theater productions of her books The Choir and The Rector's Wife and really liked them. So, browsing in the Trollope section of the library led me to her books. Marrying the Mistress is just that; events around the protagonist's announcement that he is leaving his wife of 40 years to marry his mistress of seven years. The book details the affect this has on everybody in the family--grown sons ...more
Ginny Smith
Jun 21, 2008 Ginny Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a much more serious book. It made me think about what would happen to a family after adultery is made known. It was set in England in the current times. The grandfather decides it is time to make his 7-year relationship with a young mistress known, and leave his wife of 30 years. The author had a great style- she would switch between all of the characters- showing their point of view, and what was going on in their life/head. It was interesting to see everyone's point of view from the g ...more
Katrice
January 28, 2012

Well. That was definitely not the ending of a fun little romp. Definitely not the chick-lit I was hoping for. Never the less it was a good book. The way she tells the story from the different points of views of all involved may make things seem a little disjointed, unlike if we were seeing things through the eye of one narrator, but I think it does a good job of showing just how complicated a situation like this might actually be.

I liked the characters. The way they were fleshed
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Jennifer
Jan 27, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading some less than positive reviews I found I liked this book more than some of the other readers posted.

Though one of the main complaints I read was that the mother (Laura) a woman being left after forty years of marriage was painted as the bad "guy" since she was the one being left Trollope maintains consistency in Laura's character as someone who's relied on others to give her life meaning. So when she's left by her husband because of her lacking character and building herself aroun
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Mary
Dec 29, 2007 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mini-series melodrama fans
Joanna Trollope's books always sucker me in but I can't really think of one that I've really liked. This was the same. The positives first: she writes a mean domestic scene, dinner prep, weeding the garden, fetching a glass of water at midnight all are perfect scenes of modern domestic life without any trace of nostalgia for the good old days. She is far, far better at this than her peers. She keenly observes real people and her best characters in this book are three teenagers and their parents. ...more
Pearl
Jun 21, 2012 Pearl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Set in England, this story centers on Judge Stockdale who is in his 60ties, has two grown up sons and who also had a mistress on the side for 7 years. He decides he wants to start a new life and leaves his wife of 40 years to do the “honorable thing” and marry his mistress who is 30 years his junior. The sons and a daughter-in-law quickly side with the Father and even become friends with the mistress. This is a story of a dysfunctional family at its worse. With family members disloyality being s ...more
Angelique
Apr 28, 2009 Angelique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's easy to dismiss "domestic fiction" as brainless twaddle, and I always feel my hackles rise when I read this author's bio, which highlights her relationship to her famous relative. Nonetheless, I couldn't help but be drawn into what seemed to me to be an authentic portait of several marriages, generational differences, and telling details of domestic life for all ages. The author has a sure touch, and writes knowingly about the minutiae of daily life and the characters' interactions, both fa ...more
Kelle
Jan 28, 2008 Kelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read quite a few books by J. Trollope before, and this was one of my favorites. She does a wonderful job setting up the characters. I was caught up in the tension between the mom/ex-wife, her son, and her daughter-in-law as they strive to come to terms with their ex-husband/father/father-in-law and his mistress, and it was the questions of what each would do that kept me reading until I'd finished the book in one night (way too late).
Susan
Jul 04, 2009 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a rather sad depiction of how a divorce affects an English family, who blames who, who takes whose side, etc. The characters were not developed enough for me to feel real sympathy or even affection for any of them, nor were they developed enough to make the plot work.
Dana
Feb 11, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished Marrying the Mistress (Joanna Trollope) early this morning after staying up most of last night to read it! Loved it. Love Trollope. No one does a better job at creating REAL characters, lovable for their flaws as well as their virtues. Every character is so expertly drawn that you feel you know them in your real life. This is a story about a typical family, with the parents having been married for 40+ years, with grown children who are now raising children of their own. Suddenly, Guy, t ...more
Nia W
Apr 12, 2013 Nia W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I was not eager to read this book but once I started it, it became an addiction. Each time I put it down i couldn't wait to pick it up again. I noticed This book didn't get much love on Good Reads. I admit the subject matter is a bit touchy for some but, to me, it was real. It is literally an inside look to what a family goes through in a situation like this and how it touches each person. Once you realize this book is written by an Englishwoman and acclimate yourself to the slang and w ...more
Kyra
Nov 11, 2010 Kyra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book resonated pretty painfully with me for reasons I don't want to go into. It is very well-written, and the only caveat I might mention is that the kids are way too smart, way too empathetic and way too precocious. Most teenagers are fairly self-absorbed and do not pick up on all the adult signals flying around as well as these kids did.
I was fascinated, could not put it down and will definitely try more Joanna Trollope.
Michelle
I tried to get into this book but I just couldn't. What the heck was I thinking, from the title alone? I think I had heard good things about this author, but had I really read the inside cover, I would have realized this was not the book for me. I just don't particularly like English books in modern times by middle-aged women. I know that sounds absolutely horrible, but I would classify this author with someone like Danielle Steel or someone like that.
Linda
Aug 04, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Guy, a 60-ish judge in Britain, who is divorcing his clingy, dependent wife Laura, so that he can marry Merrion, a young lawyer with whom he has had a longstanding affair. It is also the story of the effect Guy’s announcement has on Guy’s sons and their families. I like the children in Trollope’s stories, especially Guy’s grandson in the throes of his first love. Merrion’s relationship with her mother is also an interesting sub-plot.
Kathleen
Nov 13, 2008 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a man in his sixties who decides to leave his wife, and marry his much younger mistress of 7 years. The novel discusses the impact of this decision on his wife, their children and grandchildren, her mother, etc. I like Joanna Trollope's writing, and the story is quite interesting. Good character development.
Kate
Dec 26, 2008 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why did I read something with such an embarrassing title? I don't know. The author is Anita Shreve-esque. And she is a descendant of Anthony Trollope, which is fun. And the book is not as bad as it sounds: like her other stuff, it's full of sibling relations and post-midlife crises and lightly woven subplots.


Valerie Petersen
Aug 31, 2009 Valerie Petersen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I've never read Joanna Trollope before, but appreciated her in-depth look at the human condition. I especially liked the fact that the "wronged woman" wasn't painted as the usual victim, to be pitied by everyone.
Suzanne
Apr 02, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! A great novel...one of loss, betrayal, hope, and new beginnings; all the makings of a great love story, with twists and turns to keep the reader riveted!
Sandra
Mar 13, 2009 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Surprising and entertaining. A delight to read. Her books are among my favorites.
Sarah
Jun 24, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Just what I was looking for. A compelling, well written story with characters I liked.
Evelyn
Feb 04, 2017 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was going to be a fluff beach read that I could enjoy while on vacation, on a beach! I did thoroughly enjoy this story, but fluffy it was not. What set this story apart was that rather than being your typical jilted wife story, it focused on the other family members, the grown sons, the daughter in law, the grandchildren, the mistress' mother, and their thoughts and reactions to the ending of the 40 year marriage, the mistress, and the upcoming nuptials. As in every family, there ...more
Kara Hansen
I always enjoy Joanna Trollope books, and this was a good story. I like to think of her books as a "slice of life"~ we are introduced to a group of characters who are all trying to sort through an event or problem that has entered their lives. This story's title "Marrying the Mistress"- self explanatory- however this is where the problems for the members of the Stockdale family begin. We follow Guy Stockdale, the patriarch, who has just announced ( to the shock of his family),that he intends to ...more
Catherine
Mar 09, 2017 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lmmuzyka
May 23, 2017 Lmmuzyka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Actually 2 1/2 points. A nice easy read. Enjoyable!
Alexandra Roach
Mar 13, 2017 Alexandra Roach rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Very readable with characters that were fairly plausible save that - am I very parochial and old fashioned to be surprised that no one was remotely fazed or bothered by the fact that their father / grandfather had been having an affair with a woman younger than his own children for seven years. No eww that's creepy / weird but just a "cool" from a grandson and come to supper from the children? I know Laura isn't very sympathetically written but it does annoy me when the person betrayed isn't all ...more
Paula Dembeck
Merrion Palmer and Judge Guy Stockdale have been having an affair for over seven years. They have kept their relationship a secret from Guy’s wife Laura, his two sons and their colleagues at work, enjoying happy and uncomplicated times together. Guy appears to the rest of the world to be a model husband, father and grandfather but now, conscious of the passing years and regretting wasted opportunities, he is determined to change things. He doesn’t want to keep Merrion a secret any more, he wants ...more
Esdaile
This was the most successful book by this writer which I have read to date. Her strong point is unquestionably dialogue. From a simple social tale of an extra-marital affair which the two lovers seek to make official and abandon secrecy, arises a chain of tensions and sorrows, all rvealed in a series of compelling dialogue. The tale is easy to read, fascinatingly embedded in its time, which is the late nineties. Significantly, the English as a Foreign Language learning book "Headway", which regu ...more
Forgotten Realms Queen
Having recently discovered Joanna Trollope's work, she has quickly become a new favorite of mine. She tends to examine real life, realistic situations and how they come about as well as the reactions of the people involved.

This particular work looking into the reactions and consequences of a married 60 year old male judge leaving his wife of 40 years for a district attorny, a woman half his age. The two had been having an affair for some time, and finally Guy had gotten up the courage to leave h
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Louise Armstrong
I don't know why I like Joanna Trollope - unless it's to get a glimpse into the middle classes. Do people really live like that, in their nice houses and new cars and professional offices? What's it like to be a judge or a doctor? Maybe not as nice as one would think from the outside. Everyone seems a bit gloomy, which is I suppose I suppose is the downside of being intelligent and planning ahead.

Spoiler alert. Don't read on if you haven't read the book yet.

The couple had already caused all the
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Joanna Trollope Potter Curteis (aka Caroline Harvey)

Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather's rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope. She is the eldest of three siblings. She is a fifth-generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trol
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