Thursday, 22 July 2010

Man and Wife - Tony Parsons

Man and Wife (2003) is the sequel to Man and Boy (1999) by British journalist and author, Tony Parsons. It picks up where Man and Boy left off after Harry married his second wife, Cyd. However,  happily ever after wasn't that simple. Harry and Cyd try to create a blended family with Cyd's daughter, Peggy, and Harry's son, Pat. Pat, is shared between this home and that of his mother, Gina, and her new husband, Richard. Sounds complicated? It is, and there are more branches to this extended family tree, but they all seem to make sense and create a richly-woven plethora of inter-related characters.

This is essentially a story about relationships and the enduring love for family, no matter how dysfunctional and complicated it becomes. Harry sets himself on the path of yet another emotional roller coaster while he tries to work out what he really wants in life; is it what he has got (and thought he'd always dreamed of), or is the grass forever green elsewhere? Age old questions.

I found the roller coaster ride to have less highs and lows than Man and Boy and the direction of the track skipped around more, but emotions still formed the basis for the plot. This is a very readable novel, lightweight yet one that will strike a chord with almost any reader.

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