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The Men And The Girls
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The Men And The Girls

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  654 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Two 60 year-old men consider themselves lucky to have been living happily with two women who are twenty-five years their junior, until a fiercely independent and true Oxford spinster arrives on the scene and fuels the discontent brewing in both the girls. Follows THE RECTOR'S WIFE.
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Published (first published 1992)
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I really enjoy Joanna Trollope's books, and this one proved to be just as enjoyable as the others I have read. She takes common messy human failings and creates a story I can identify with. Her characters muddle through problems and survive not by great heroic means but just by being themselves. Not all win, not all lose, but all gain satisfaction one way or another.
Trollope writes nice stories, but the easy formulas and platitudes of the romantic novel too often surface.
It's a mistake for me to read her books at bedtime, since they're the kind I want to keep reading to the end. You would think that is a plus for the book, but it usually means I forget it as soon as I've closed the cover.

The 70-plus former schoolteacher character is refreshing, though rather too reminiscent of the retired knitting lady detective in an older UK author's crime stories [I'
Bree T
Both Kate Bain and Julia Hunter have found happiness with men who are significantly their senior – or so it seems. Kate, who has been with the academic James for eight years, but refused to marry him, finds herself restless and unhappy, for seemingly little reason. She lives in James’ big house, working part time as a waitress and volunteering at a shelter for abused women but she sees a need for independence. To have a space that is hers, or hers and her daughter Joss’. She knows that she’s mak ...more
Lady Prism
.•*”. ,•ღ. ℒℴνℯ •ღ.
Not a single endearing character,ha!ha!But that must be the point - from the teenager to the 30's 40's 60's and (goodness) beyond' all groping through life half dazed with momentary snatches of victorious insights.

You want to dive into the scene, shake someone up, belch your opinion, guide, direct and scold them all for their selfishness, weakness, indecisiveness! And just when you think the characters have got it all together, and that good warm sniffy' story ending is abou
The chief pleasure of a Trollope novel for me is her believable dialogue and her effortless construction of characters.
If it wasn't for these two outstanding talents I don't think I could put in the effort to get through a whole novel about people I can't bring myself to like or care much about. One or two of the cast interest me (including James, "head" of the household of rather random individuals in Richmond Villa and Joss, who would be his step-daughter if her mother had ever agreed to marry
Ginger West
This is my second Joanna Trollope book and I'm finding a theme so far. One or more characters who are unhappy or dissatisfied with life and have some sort of mid-life crisis of sorts. I find these characters annoying. I know enough whiners in real life and don't want to be reading about more. Acknowledge it, suck it up and move on or just use some old fashioned denial and repression is what I say. That being said, I like her writing so I'm going to give one more book of hers a try but if it's th ...more
Devoured this. One of her better ones. Her "subject" this time is women who are abused. That topic seemed a bit forced when it pushed its way into the main storyline (no puns intended here). But that was the only off note, in my opinion. The characters were distinct, easy to visualize -- she totally nailed TV personality Hugh, for example -- and enjoyable individuals. Some of these characters we've met before, or variations on them, but I didn't care. I feel like this time, she got them right. I ...more
Utter rubbish. I didn't really care enough about the characters or the story to expand on that statement! Blatent racism also had me seething.
i haven't read a Joanna Trollope novel for years, but my mum heralded this as a reasonable yarn and it was a very easy read which appeals to my addled brain at the moment! i enjoyed it. It's quite formulaic - domestic unrest within 2 families of "men" - two dear friends in their 60s and their much younger partners. They all experience their own crises, self discovery and resolution of sorts. The characters are well developed, particularly fantastic old shrew Miss Bachelor who one of the men knoc ...more
Good story ... kept me engaged.
On the back of Black Swan edition there is a comment by one Polly Feversham of the Evening Standard, "a rare pleasure to find characters so likeable that one cares what becomes of them." I spent the first hundred pages or so reacting strongly to this, with incredulity and much head shaking, because I found the characters, really all of them, extraordinarily unlikeable. All of them have wart sized faults the reader cannot fail to see: self-pity, selfishness, smugness, hypocrisy..However, none of ...more
This is so far the only Joanna's book I actually battled with.

The book is set in the English countryside which we all know is dull, wet and dreary. The characters were at least ten; each with their own story. They ranged from mid-thirties to early eighties with Joss and Garth (the only teenagers) thrown in for good measure.

There's Julia and Hugh, married with young twin boys. Hugh is significantly older and was a charismatic TV presenter in the 70's and 80's. His career is cut short by retireme
I enjoyed this twist on the May-December romance with a look at these relationships down the line. Now in their sixties, the older men in this book at looking back at their lives and relationships and thinking about where they are.

I enjoyed the secondary characters very much and how they interacted and influenced the lives of these couples. Not what I expected, and sweet.

from the back:
"Popular Brithish TV personality Hugh Hunter has begun feeling resentful toward his much younger, seemingly pe
I first started reading Joanna Trollope after I had my first son and my brain couldn't handle anything taxing because of sleep deprivation but I still wanted well written lighter reads. Joanna Trollope novels remind me of the things I liked about England when I was there - Agas and Radio 4 namely! As I neared the end of this I realised I had actually read it before - prob about 8 years ago. So not particularly memorable I guess but a pleasant read none-the-less.
This is the second Trollope novel I’ve read and she does not disappoint. The main thing I have loved about both the books I’ve read from her is that the ending is not the cliché “happy one”. In a lot of women’s so called “chick lit”, although fun to read, you can guess the outcome before you have even begun, but not with Trollope. Her characters are so wonderfully rounded that you really find yourself caring about them and wanting to know how it all works out for them. And it won’t spoil it to s ...more
Kayla Tornello
Most of the characters in this book annoyed me. They all made problems for themselves that weren't necessary. I can't stand people like that in real life and I don't particularly enjoy reading about them, either. The writing itself was good, though.
I have really enjoyed most of the books by Joanna Trollope. Men and the Girls was the first one published in the US and I have just re-read it. It is set in Oxford, my favorite place and home of my mother and Grandparents and so I know all the areas, streets and even some of the shops mentioned.
The characters revolve around 61 year old James, who lives with his cranky old Uncle, much younger girl friend and her hard to love teenage daughter. James has a friend, Hugh, who also has a wife 25years
My real rating is 3.5 stars.

I enjoyed The Men and the Girls. It chronicles a few months in the lives of a lecturer at a school in Oxford and his friend, an aging television reporter. Their lives are turned upside down when the lecturer accidentally runs over an elderly woman.

What I enjoyed about this book was Trollope's writing, less so the characters. To me, Julia is never fully developed, although I found myself sympathizing with her the most. Trollope's description of everything is witty and
I enjoyed this book but the ending was a bit of a let down I thought and I didn't really warm to the characters . I always seem to enjoy the read with Joanna Trollope though
I liked this novel more than I thought I would. At first, it seemed a little too "of the 80s" complete with descriptions of young women with enormous glasses (and enormous shoulder pads), but the more I read, the more involved I became in the story. The novel really centers on one of the two couples: the other couple serves as a foil, but I won't say any more. Joss, a teenage girl, seemed as though she would be a minor character, but her character took a prominent role in the novel and in the ch ...more
Terry Ollenberger
good read, as usual Joanna Trollope's observations of the relations between men and women, mothers and daughters are spot on

It got a little melodramatic, but I did like the characters.
The main characters are over 60.
I am so glad I waited to read this until I was in my 60's. Otherwise I might have identified with the "girls".
It is a VERY good story. Wonderful characters of all ages.
Sarah Cunningham Davis
Dated, tedious, uninspiring, a total load of insignificant Trollope!
Hugh, a sixty-something television personality, is married to Julia, 25 years his junior. His career seems to be on the wane, as hers is on the rise. Can they cope?

Meanwhile Hugh's best friend James, who lives with Kate (also 25 years his junior), has a minor car accident which precipitates a lot of changes.

Nicely done, covering some interesting issues as well as having a low-key romantic thread. slightly shocking at times, and bittersweet towards the end. Recommended.
This book is an exploration of the meaning of "home" and individuation. It's a sad story but the characters are well drawn.
I picked this up on a recent trip to England being pretty sure I would love it, and I did -- Joanna Trollope is one of my favorite authors. This is another of her books about modern-day ordinary English characters, no bells or whistles, but terrific character portraits and plotting as they wend their way through romantic, domestic and career issues. I'm biased because it's England and especially in this case because it's set in Oxford.
Zwei befreundete Paare, in deren Ehen es gleichermaßen kriselt. Auslöser ist wohl der Altersunterschied, die Frauen sind rund 20 Jahre jünger als die Männer. An einem gewissen Punkt gehen die Interessen da eben auseinander. Dennoch: es sind auch Kinder involviert, denen man die Trennung der Eltern womöglich ersparen will. Doch ist ein harmonisches Miteinander noch möglich.

Ein so-lala-Buch, von dem nicht viel in Erinnerung bleibt.
Bea Alden
The "girls" in this story are Kate, a youngish single mother of a teenager, Joss, living with James, an older man whom she refuses to marry; and Julia, young mother of adorable little twin boys and successful career woman, married to Hugh, best friend of James, therefore also, older. Mostly the book revolves around the dilemmas facing these two women because of their age difference from the men they have chosen to love.
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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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