This novel is classic Joanna Trollope. It's a well-told story of a woman's life and her frustrations.
Alexa's army husband returns from Afghanistan preoccupied and seemingly uninterested in his family. Trollope sets the scene skilfully; as patiently as his old Labrador, Alexa waits for her army husband, Dan, to 'get out of the zone' and become the loving, caring father of his three year old twins, and step father of the rebellious pre-teen Isobel who's fighting her own battles. But Dan keeps putting his regiment first, and all efforts to bring Dan back to the domestic life by Alexa, her parents and Dan's father and grandfather seem to fall to deaf ears.
Although not much happens in this novel about a difficult period in one modern army marriage, the story really spoke to me. When I first moved to the UK, I was married to the Navy, and felt many of the same frustrations as Alexa does as an army wife. It's a tricky life being tied to your husbands career, which may mean sudden house moves from one end of the country to another. You feel as if the husband's career is the most important thing in the world and you as the wife are just the housekeeper and the cook, hosting dinners to superiors and their wives. As for your own career, forget it; army (or navy) life just doesn't allow for it. It's high time something changed in the forces, and in this book Trollope sort of hints that things are about to get better. Let's hope so!
I read this book on holiday in two days, so it's a good read!