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Next of Kin

3.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  546 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
More than twenty years ago, a young American named Carolyn came to the Meredith family farm, marrying Robin Meredith and settlingnever quite comfortablyinto rural English life. Now Caro has died, leaving behind a husband who has long slept in a separate bedroom and an angry adopted daughter. But another young woman is about to arrive. Her name is Zoe, and unlike Caro, sh ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 7th 2002 by Berkley (first published 1995)
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May 14, 2011 Pearl rated it liked it
Has Next of Kin ever been on Oprah's book list? If not, it should have been. Almost a perfect choice for Oprah, although perhaps not quite grim enough.

Until about 2/3rds of the way through I thought - I don't dislike this book but I don't quite like it either. I began to like it better as I read to the end but probably not enough to read another book by this author.

It's the story of a just barely middle-class English family who love their farm and their way of doing things more than anything els
Feb 06, 2012 Barbara rated it did not like it
Two generations of Merediths farm the land running down to the River Dean. Robin Dean’s Californian wife has just died; he never understood his wife Caro, his adopted daughter Judy doesn’t like him and blames him for not loving Caro. Judy’s new flatmate, Zoe, enigmatic, independent and disturbingly direct, enters the lives of the Merediths and changes their lives. Stereotypical characters, a dull story, hard times for farming folk in England: the stiff-upper-lip matriarch; the oblivious patriarc ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
enjoyed it. not a page turner but kept my interest. it was a rather light read which I needed at this time. deals with several tragic events but is not overly depressing somehow. shows how people can grow from change, even change brought on by hardship.
Mar 17, 2011 Terry rated it really liked it
Somehow I missed this one when it came out in 1996. Interesting characters, concise writing that is nonetheless completely descriptive of the physical (people and environment) and the emotional.

"Next of Kin" explores the aftermath of death and its effect on the survivors. The story opens with the funeral of Caro Meredith, California-born wife of English dairy farmer Robin Meredith, dead of a brain tumor in her forties. Robin's grief is complicated by his dead wife's long detachment from the far
Nov 08, 2015 Anke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
of all her books I thought this was the most sad one. Life hasn't always been easy on her characters and you do feel a bit sad for them because of lifes never being what you've expected them to be.
Dec 12, 2014 Clara rated it liked it
I didn't wholeheartedly believe in either Zoe or her effect on the Meredith clan, but, as usual, Trollope writes the thing well while refusing to give you quite what you expect.
Oct 20, 2014 Ruth rated it it was ok
So boring. No real beginning and no real ending. Characters did nothing for me. Kept going as I thought there might have been a happy or sad ending. Very dull read.
Feb 05, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book about a farming community, that opens with the funeral of Robin's wife Caro. It's the start of a difficult time for the rest of the family, particularly his daughter Judy.

Her friend Zoe - an uncomplicated, spontaneous kind of girl - wants to visit the farm, and then finds herself drawn back to the people and situations. She's the catalyst for a lot of changes.

There are complex relationships, and financial problems as well as some farming discussion which I mostly skimmed through. Pleasan
Jan 16, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it
This book was not what I expected, at all. It was well written, but was sort of depressing.
Aug 07, 2014 Gotogrrl rated it did not like it
Boring. Formulaic. Crappy characters I didn't like. The big zero.
May 28, 2014 Caro rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
The best of the three I read, or, to my surprise, re-read. Trollope is at her best at conveying the feelings of a wide variety of family members, especially children, when the family changes. In this case, there's the added interest of the recently deceased wife whose place in the family changes over the course of the book. (Rebecca, anyone?)
Dec 29, 2008 Bea rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
Book about grief and how one really doesn't know their family and how one deals with all these issues when a parent passes away.

Really enjoyed all the farm scenes/moments, wanted to live on a farm in GB and get to drive a land rover around.

Also really enjoyed the dynamics between the main character, the daughter and her roomate.

Lauren Albert
May 24, 2010 Lauren Albert rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
After tragedies disrupt a close-knit farming family, they are all paralyzed with grief. Into this combustible situation comes Zoe, the roommate of Judy, one of the farmer's daughter. She serves as a catalyst, breaking up molecules and rejoining them. I really liked the complexity of Trollope's characters and their relationships.
Jan 02, 2012 Rita rated it it was ok
Shelves: british-novel
1996. Like her other book I read, the characters don't come to life for me.
The story is quite lively and keeps seeming like it might get interesting.
It did give a glimpse of the [financially very tough] business of being a small farmer in England these days.
Dana Nucera
Nov 02, 2011 Dana Nucera rated it it was ok
This was a well written story about hard life on a farm. It was about perserverance and family ties. I enjoyed the read, but I doubt I will read anymore of her books because I get the feeling they are all generally the same in theme and outcome.
Aug 23, 2010 Mindi rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Started out thinking I was going to hate Zoe, but ended up feeling like she was a friend. It was interesting to see how the relationships evolved and dissolved because of the tragedies this family endured.
Aug 01, 2009 Lynn rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction

I thought this book was a good story with an interesting look at human nature and how people deal with tragedy. Although at times I felt the plot was a bit of a stretch, I did enjoy it at the end and I was glad I read it.
Sep 25, 2008 Linera rated it liked it
An exploration of grief, set in the real world of farm work, not the pretty milkmaid version. Odd, I thought of the writer as pretty much determined by the Aga-Saga venue, but this book is clear, surprising, and emotionally grounded.
Sep 07, 2013 Angela rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book although it seemed quite dark at the beginning. The characters were portrayed with feeling and seemed realistic. The story was interesting and showed the darker side of country life,regardless of setting.
Jan 06, 2012 Tiina rated it liked it
Maanviljelijäsuku ei ole ehkä tavallisin valinta romaanin henkilögalleriaksi. Ihmissuhdedraamaa kuten tavallista, mutta miljööstä ja omasta taustasta johtuen tuntui heti paljon mielenkiintoisemmalta....
May 02, 2012 Caroline rated it it was ok
I usually like Joanna Trollope, but this one was a bit formulaic and I found most of the characters unsympathetic. I'd skip this one and read The Choir, The Rector's Wife, and The Spanish Lover instead.
Feb 08, 2009 Heidi rated it liked it
a nice neat little story of life on a farm in England and the results of not talking about mental illness and feelings. too simplified and yet nice at the same time.
a pleasant easy read.
Aug 09, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book at first, but as it happens, I did. The characters were interesting and unfamiliar to me. And I ended up liking them more than I thought.
Jan 22, 2014 Peggy rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
I listened to this book while working in my sewing room. It was a good listen in that context because it didn't take lots if concentration to follow along as I was quilting.
Jul 04, 2012 Cb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I used to love JT but this it has to be said is not one of her best - try her earlier books for a good read. This isnt offensively bad butits not good either
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Good Joanna Trollope style with all the emotional intricacies. This time about an extended farming family & the effects of a family death.
Mar 06, 2013 Tamra rated it did not like it
The clean up was too tidy at the end and the charactars were not that likable nor did their personalities and actions stay consistent.
May 29, 2013 Carmen rated it really liked it
Read it several years ago. A powerful, moving story describing a searing picture of a farming family at a tragic crossroads.
Apr 18, 2008 Alasse rated it did not like it
Didn't make it through. It's probably a good book, but I was sick of literary and really craving a good fantasy.
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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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