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Next of Kin (Anglais) Relié – juillet 2001


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Revue de presse

"Wit, feeling and originality...a powerful story" Washington Post Book World

"Trollope does an excellent job of describing the dynamics of farm life...an absorbing narrative." Publishers Weekly
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

The land running down to the River Dean has been farmed by the Meredith family for generations. Robin Meredith bought the farm from his father, just before he married his wife Caro and now he and his brother Joe work on the land. But now Caro has died, as much as a mystery to the family as she was when she arrived twenty years ago, and the whole family feels her loss acutely, none more so than her adopted daughter Judy.

Into this unhappy family comes Zoe, Judy's London friend, an outsider with an independent spirit and a disturbing directness.Everyone underestimates Zoe's power as a catalyst for change as the realities behind the seeming idyll of a rural community become ever clearer..

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Amazon.com: 12 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Trollope at her best! 20 juillet 2000
Par Johanna Lindback - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I've read a couple of Joanna Trollope books, and one thing that always fascinates me are all the details and insight she puts into her books. For example, when I read "The rector's wife" I was sure she must have lived close to the church. Now I am just as convinced she must have been a farmer. I am certainly not a farmer, and I'm not at all interested in it, so it's a great achievement that I think this becomes so fascinating - tha Farm and the Earth.
The story is about a farming family and we get to follow three generations, grandfather/mother, their two sons with families, and the grandchildren. Because of this the book contains much more than just the farming issues, even though that's the background setting. One of Trollopes great qualities is her ability to make people come to life, and this book is one of the best examples of this. She easily switches between Harry, the grandfather who is depressed over the fact that he's too old to keep his farm, and Judy, the grand daughter in her twenties who's living in London and searches for love and her place in the family.
The story is rich and complex, but it never loses touch and you eagerly follow what's going to happen. After the death of Judy's mother, a friend of Judy's come to visit from London, and with her as an outsider not knowing all the rules, things start to change. It's gripping, funny, warm and sad. It's very good! This book set me off in a Trollope-phase and I'm working my way through them all now.
18 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Subtle, thoughtful, gracefully written 11 juillet 2001
Par Lynn Harnett - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Trollope's novels often depict a family in crisis; the reverberations of upheaval through the comfortable routines of familial life, and the individual responses to trouble and change. She sometimes likes to throw an outsider into the mix: the self-possessed young mistress in "Marrying the Mistress;" the old lady struck by a protagonist's car in "The Men and the Girls;" and Zoe, the forthright, city-bred innocent of her current novel.
"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 farm and from himself. Caro, a rootless wanderer who always wanted to belong somewhere, to someone, could never embrace the land-bound farm life and left her husband's bed years earlier. Robin feels, sadly, bitterly, that she never tried.
The center of Caro's life was Judy, her and Robin's adopted daughter. Judy, so close to her mother, resents Robin as a remote, distant man who never loved Caro properly. Robin is awkward with Judy, so much Caro's daughter, and, truth be told, he never wanted to adopt and was devastated to learn Caro had married without telling him she could have no children.
Robin's brother, Joe, beset with private worries and longings, and a young, needy wife, mourns Caro as the emblem of freedom and otherness in his life. Joe runs the leased family farm after Robin left crop farming to establish his own dairy farm. Their parents, Dilys and Harry, too old now to run things on their own, see Joe, their favorite, as the repository of all their hopes and the productivity of their lives.
A few weeks after Caro's death, Judy brings her new flatmate home from London to her father's farm. Zoe grew up in the London projects. To her, meals are take-away food. She has never so much as peeled a potato or washed a dish. Robin's farm, with its animals, its broad acreage and seeming self-sufficiency, enthralls her, and, to Judy's outrage, she whimsically installs herself there, learning to run the tractor, cook and stack bales of hay.
Seen from the family's vantagepoint, Zoe seems self-possessed, independent, possibly dangerous. Not knowing the hidebound rules of community and family, she breaks them freely. When a second death shakes the family to the core, Zoe remains, unintrusive but available, infuriating some of the women who see her as a scheming wanton and Robin's acceptance of her as a betrayal. But she serves as a catalyst, forcing the family to look outward, to see themselves as an outsider does.
Trollope's characters are flawed human beings whose aspirations and failures ring true. There are no bad people or good people; their complexity resides in the minutiae of relationships, self-perception and innate personality. As a catalyst Zoe sparks small epiphanies leading to minor, possibly lasting change. These occur not so much because of Zoe herself but because, as an outsider making her way inside, she casts new light on unquestioned traditions. Convention plays a strong part in justifying people's actions; Zoe serves to make them confront the underlying selfishness or weakness or convenience or dependency. That Zoe may suffer when the family closes ranks again concerns no one, except, possibly, Zoe. To everyone else, her life outside their sphere of reference is a blank.
There's a lot going on in this novel, from explorations of farming realities in our time (mostly harsh) to the vicissitudes and accommodations of married life (a favorite theme of Trollope's) to the degrees of dependency and manipulation between parent and child. As the central theme, death affects each of these relationships, rippling outwards to draw in those on the periphery, calling into question the past and the future, people in the misery of grief "shackled to their thoughts," but going on because "while we're alive, we live."
Beautifully structured, gracefully written, full of difficult subtleties and unexpected strengths, "Next of Kin" is one of Trollope's finest novels.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Dead But Not Forgotten 29 janvier 2003
Par Wendy Kaplan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The mood is definitely melancholy in this story of Caro, an American transplant to the English farming country whose funeral we attend on the very first page.
Caro's friends, neighbors and family are devastated by her too-early death (a brain tumor), and one could accurately say she is gone but not forgotten. In Trollope's own trademark way, we learn that Caro profoundly affected everyone in her extended circle--and not always for the good.
Who was Caro? Did she love her silent, taciturn farmer husband Robin, who bears a weight of responsibility that would break most people? And what about Robin's charming, but ultimately feckless brother Joe? What was between him and Caro, and why can he not find solace in his young family?
Solace is not to be had for Judy either: The twentysomething adopted daughter of Caro and Robin is beside herself with grief, and deeply angry at her father for seemingly neglecting his perfect wife.
As Trollope does so brilliantly, she lets us view the re-shifting and uncomfortable emotions of Caro's family from a child's eye point of view, in this case, the sensitive, 3-year-Hughie, Joe's son. There are only two people in the book who grab life to the fullest, as Caro is purported to have done. One is little Hughie's baby sister, Rose, whose sturdy little soul brooks no interference. She is, simply, a force to be reckoned with. Her adult counterpart is the hippie-ish Zoe, flatmate of the self-pitying Judy, and the ultimate, unlikely catalyst for the family to come to terms with its grief and see Caro for what she really was, warts and all.
This is one of the darker of Trollope's books, but as always, well-written and, in my case, hard to put down. It makes the reader think hard about perception and reality, and the intangible nature of love--both romantic and family.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Next of Kin 2 août 2001
Par Ginger L Hobbs - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is a good read, a little reminisent of some of the Catherine Cookson books. The story evolves around the death of the American wife of Robin and how her life impacted on his family and the neighbors in this English village. The arrival of a young friend of his step daughter adds a nice touch. The arrival of Zoe brings about a great many changes in the family and a growth of charachter in Robin. However, this is not a new book. It was first published in 1996 and readers should probably check their shelves before rushing out to purchase this book I wish I had. Because now I have the hardover novel I purchased in '96 and a trade copy.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Starting over 18 juin 2005
Par Linda Pagliuco - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Joanna Trollope's novels are generally rich in emotion and character. Perhaps because Next of Kin is one of her early works, it fails to match the standard she has set in such novels as The Choir. A relatively brief tale of loss, grief, attenuated hopes, and the rediscovery of love and forgotten dreams, Next of Kin has potential that it never truly reaches. Bet Ms Trollope could improve this greatly with a rewrite. As it is, she has done a good job of depicting characters who are locked within their own fears and accommodations, who manage to chip their way back out in much the same way as a baby chick in its shell. This story is worth reading even though it might have been better.
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