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A Spanish Lover

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  1,006 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Lizzie was the twin who always got everything right, while Frances never quite measured up. Now, Frances will shock her family by taking a married Spanish Catholic with no intention of leaving his wife, and Lizzie will be left to cope with her own surprising reaction.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Berkley Trade (first published January 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30)
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James
Nov 12, 2010 James rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"A Spanish Lover" tells the story of twin sisters whose lives are in flux. One is in financial difficulties and has to find a job; the other has found love in Andalucia. It's a good tale, well told, chick lit for the middle classes.

The author has a real knack for describing family life and especially the surroundings of her characters. Her research is nothing if not thorough. For one book she worked in a supermarket, for another in a hostel for battered women. So you can just tell her research i
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Suzanne
Jul 15, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: Book sale find
Shelves: fiction
I picked this British book up at a book sale, not knowing anything about it or the author, but needing some beach reading. Though it appears by title to be a romantic romp, it's actually more fundamentally about family dynamics, the dilemmas of accepting or rejecting conventional roles, and the consequences of choosing to meet or break with others' wishes and expectations. The story overall was interesting enough for vacation reading, but not something I expect to revisit beyond a few key ...more
Linda
Sep 25, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
Lizzie (néé Shore) and her twin sister Frances are in their late 30's; they resemble each other but are different in temperament and Lizzie always more successful than Frances. Lizzie is married with a family; she and her husband run a boutique. As the story opens, Frances starts a travel business, Shore to Shore, and goes to Spain on a business trip where she meets Luis, a wealthy hotel owner and begins an affair with him. Her family is shocked Luis is both married and Catholic. Frances ...more
Charlene
Nov 27, 2016 Charlene rated it liked it
I read a couple of Joanna Trollope novels a couple of decades ago and enjoyed them. This one was okay, well-written but characters didn't always seem believeable. l enjoyed the descriptions of southern Spain and the Spanish character; also, the English domestic setting.
Miryam HaMagdal
Apr 02, 2014 Miryam HaMagdal rated it it was ok
There is quite a problematic question analysed in this book: what is eventually needed that a woman would be happy? This book presents the two most common scenarios: a traditional family with a caring husband, children, a comfortable home on one hand, and a life of a single, career-oriented lady, creating her own business, traveling a lot on the other. These two opposite poles are represented by two women - twin sisters. Later, as it turns out, none of these two paths does guarantee carefree ...more
Denise
Oct 07, 2016 Denise added it
"Perhaps that was what happened to you when you had chosen your own shirts and socks for fifteen years; you stopped looking as if somebody else had a hand in you, you stopped looking owned. . . . That's the single life, Frances thought, married or not; you decide everything for yourself, all the time, and sometimes that's exciting, and sometimes it makes you very tired."

"She had listened with that kind of stillness people have when everything you say is saturated with importance for them."

"I do
...more
Cici
Dec 09, 2012 Cici rated it liked it
This is a more complex story than I expected -- in a good way. Several people's lives play out during the course of a dramatic love affair between Frances (the reliable and less demonstrative of a twin) and a married Spanish businessman. In this book, the author successfully draw the picture of several modes of life, each of its rewards and pains, each of its unexpected turns. This is a deeply realistic story, even though it is colored with a lot of romantic glow (which nearly made me give it up ...more
Faith
Jan 12, 2009 Faith rated it liked it
Shelves: 2006
Joanna Trollope... She writes about normal things that aren't so normal. Last time it was about adopted children and their chrisis, now it's about twins who are too dependant of each other... Lizzy and Frances are so very different. Lizzy has a husband, children and a good business, she has everything, and Frances doesn't. Not until she meets her Spanish lover, and things start changing for both of the twins. Once again everything that possibly go wrong between twins and their family happens... ...more
Sharon
Jun 27, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Trollope book I have read and I really liked her style, it is very thoughtful and well researched.
The story follows twin sisters Lizzie and Frances who, though close, actually live quite different lives. Lizzie has a husband, children and runs her own boutique business while Frances is still single and leads a fairly solitary life as a travel agent. This in turn takes her abroad to Spain where she meets the handsome and rich hotel owner Luis, who just also happens to be marrie
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Mary
Oct 06, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction
Good book, like most of Joanna Trollope's. This one about the dynamics of twins who have chosen or just happened into very different lifestyles- one is married with children and owns her own business and the other works for a travel agency. For business reasons the second twin lands in Spain and a romance ensues. She is happy. The first twin begins to have her life unravel and jealousy raises it's ugly head. Roles are changed and that is always a disturbance in any relationship-this one just ...more
Pequete
Oct 28, 2014 Pequete rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
Despite the cheesy title that made me a bit embarrassed to walk around with this book (I don't have a lot of time to read, so I usually carry books in my bag to read wherever I can), I enjoyed this book, although not as much as two others I had read before by the same author. The story, about family life and its relations, is in line with those other Trollope's book I've read before, but I didn't like the somewhat stereotyped views of Spain and the Spanish that turn the narrative into a bit of a ...more
Kat
Jun 06, 2012 Kat rated it liked it
Interesting to read a book set during the time of the last financial crisis in the early 1990's. I liked the twins characters, independent Frances appealed more than domestic Mother Lizzie. A contemporary book that was easy to read, about modern life, loves and worries. Main criticism was that the ending trailed off somewhat, the style of writing was one that felt as though the twins story could have gone on and on making the end a bit abrupt.
Bea Alden
Apr 19, 2009 Bea Alden rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, rereads
Great story of twin sisters - Lizzie, who has an art gallery, a marvelous husband and several children; and Frances, who, though successful in the business world, is single and unlucky in love. But she suddenly shocks everyone by becoming intensely involved with a wildly romantic Spanish lover who has no intention of leaving his wife. The emotions of all the players are realistically and sympathetically portrayed.
Vionna
Dec 14, 2014 Vionna rated it liked it
The lives of twin sisters are intertwined with Lizzie being the controlling superwoman Frances the more laid back sister. Lizzie tries to run everyone’s life, and runs into many problems, whereas Frances escapes to Spain takes a lover and has a child. It’s quite an interesting story with interesting characters.
Beth
Jul 01, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it
A Spanish Lover is on the surface a book about families and marriages. It tells the story of adult twin sister and their parents. I really enjoyed the characters and the honest and insightful way Trollope developed them. More than this, though, is that the novel is about self-knowledge and life choices. It doesn't make excuses or pass judgement on individual characters and their decisions.
Ruth
Aug 16, 2016 Ruth rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoy Trollope's writing. I came across her because her name and therefor books are right next to another favorite but oh so different writer, Anthony Trollope. J. Trollope's stories are about modern everyday people and I enjoy the differences between Americans and British manners and customs.
Meme
Aug 16, 2010 Meme rated it really liked it
A story of grown-up twin women who lead very different lives, all their family relationships, and a bittersweet romance of one twin. Funny, touching, and a quick read. Joanna Trollope is distantly related to Anthony Trollope and writes modern-day novels of a similar type. I've also read The Choir, The Rector's Wife and a couple of others. They're great vacation reading but not trash!
Anna
Dec 18, 2015 Anna rated it liked it
Trollope's books are about ordinary people in ordinary situations, but I like her writing. A bit too much Spain and too little England in this one, but it's not a light romance, but a story about what makes a woman happy and fulfilled, from the viewpoint of two middle-aged twin sisters. It made me want to travel.
Pippa
Aug 03, 2012 Pippa rated it liked it
Sometimes very amusing. I loved the opening pages. Too dull a story for my liking though, and very unrealistic about Frances and Spain. (She would have felt terrible isolation, surely?) Somehow the characters weren't quite rounded enough, but it was fairly enjoyable, particularly the funny family scenes.
Yak
Apr 24, 2012 Yak rated it really liked it
Twin sisters tackle their very different personal lives -- one with a big family and a business to help run, the other who is single and takes up with a Spanish man in the coure of her travels to Spain (she has a travel agency). Trollope is great at getting to the core of what women are thinking and feeling when it comes to family life.
Sue
Nov 19, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lizzie and Frances are twins - close, and yet very different in character. Both are happy in what they do, but changes disrupt their patterns of life. Good characters, encouraging ending.

First read in 2003; I'd forgotten most of the plot and enjoyed it just as much re-reading five years later.
Selmah Smith
Jan 18, 2015 Selmah Smith rated it it was ok
Like most of Joanna Trollope's novels, this is a story about family relationships. Twin sisters experience their twin-ship differently and the tension impacts their extended family members. I didn't find any character particularly likeable or interesting. That was a disappointment since I have enjoyed most of Trollope's novels and had expected to like this one too.
Julie
Aug 05, 2013 Julie rated it liked it
A story about twins - one goes on to be outgoing, married, full of zest and the other one just lives life day to day until she goes to Spain and meets a married man. It starts out slow but I did enjoy it as it progressed.
Alvi Harahap
Jul 05, 2011 Alvi Harahap rated it liked it
The story is swift and involved. The narrative is supplied by first person accounts of the events in the story, mostly from Lizzie and Francis, but also from their parents and friends. While the characters tend to be on the eccentric side, they are very believable and interesting.
Amarpal
Sep 15, 2011 Amarpal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So basically, the general drift was something along the lines of; some people just aren't meant to be twins, don't get pregnant behind your partners back, don't borrow too much from the banks and something about the trails and tribulations of relationships... Riveting stuff?
Linda
Aug 08, 2012 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really 2.5 stars, why can't we get some half stars here??? Sort of escapism reading. I thought some of the issues raised in the book were unresolved, like the issues with the twins. Disliked one of the main characters, Lizzie, also part of the twin problem.
Mary
Jun 14, 2008 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joanna Trollope is always good for an absorbing read and wry comment on contemporary family life. The question of how people change once they become parents is very uniquely answered at the end of this book...
Lindsey Benage
Sep 01, 2012 Lindsey Benage rated it did not like it
Had to force myself to finish this book for chic lit book club. Didn't like the characters and the plot was terribly boring. Kept waiting for something to happen but, just kept on waiting. Would not recommend, so boring and a waste of time I will not get back.
rachel
Apr 26, 2007 rachel rated it it was ok
if you're looking for a clean book, this is it (despite the title). other than that, i can think of nothing to recommend it.
Dhali
Jun 25, 2014 Dhali rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dated but still enjoyable. I like Trollope's stories of regular English folks that turn out not to be so regular, and I like that she eschews traditionally happy endings.
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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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