Review of 'man and wife'

man and wife by Tony Parsons

man_and_wife.jpg Part of the way through this book I realised (yes, I am sometimes a bit slow on the up-take) that this was a sequel to Parsons' best seller “man and boy”. Of course, I am not completely ignorant and have seen Parsons' books before but never had a chance to read.

Harry Silver is trying to be a good father to his son Pat from his previous marriage while struggling with his relationship with his new wife Cyd and her daughter (also from another marriage) Peggy. When his ex-wife and husband decide to move to America with his son Harry is hurt that his child is being taken far away halting his already brief visits on Sundays. He discovers what he think is missing in his marriage as he falls head over heals for Kazumi, a Japanese photographer who is not interested in becoming a mistress. Complicating matters is his work as a television producer with his star performer's physical collapse during a show recording. Harry's world is crumbling and he has no idea where to turn.

Harry certainly lives a complicated life and throughout I wanted to tell him to smarten up as he struggles with his life decisions. Seriously. I would hope that his attitude is not indicative of modern society. What is refreshing is his unflinching love of his son as he yearns to be a part of his life despite the circumstances.

Not having read the first book I have to say I spent the first part of the novel trying to figure out who was who and what was what but after that I started getting into it. Despite a lot of whining and introspection early on the pace does thankfully pick up towards the end with the various story elements coming together to a somewhat satisfactory and, it has to be said, pleasant conclusion.

Though billed as “funny” I have to say the humour, for me, was few and far between. It is, however, an easy to read if not exactly compelling to the reader. If you like reading about complicated modern relationships this one is for you. It does pose some interesting questions and equally interesting answers about love and relationships.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2018-05-19

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: 2002

ISBN: 0006514820