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Summary

Sunday Times number-one best seller Joanna Trollope explores the issues at the heart of a modern family with her trademark wit and warmth, in Mum & Dad.

What a mess, she thought now...what a bloody, unholy mess the whole family has got itself into.

It’s been 25 years since Gus and Monica left England to start a new life in Spain, building a vineyard and wine business from the ground up. However, when Gus suffers a stroke and their idyllic Mediterranean life is thrown into upheaval, it’s left to their three grown-up children in London to step in.... 

Sebastian is busy running his company with his wife, Anna, who’s never quite seen eye to eye with her mother-in-law.  

Katie, a successful solicitor in the City, is distracted by the problems with her long-term partner, Nic, and the secretive lives of their three daughters. 

And Jake, ever the easy-going optimist, is determined to convince his new wife, Bella, that moving to Spain with their 18-month-old would be a good idea. 

As the children descend on the vineyard, it becomes clear that each has their own idea of how best to handle their mum and dad, as well as the family business. But as long-simmering resentments rise to the surface and tensions reach breaking point, can the family ties prove strong enough to keep them together? 

©2020 Joanna Trollope (P)2020 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

Critic reviews

"Trollope writes about family relationships with intelligence and clear-eyed sympathy." (The Times)

What listeners say about Mum & Dad

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable read

Enjoyed this, my first Joanna Trollope read, especially as it was set in beautiful Spain and was about family relationships.
My only slight disappointment was the ending, as the story of this disfunctional family was otherwise very realistic. The happy ending didn't seem in keeping with the problems encountered in the earlier chapters. It was almost too good to be true.

The author's descriptions and insights into the personalities of the different characters was amazing. And great credit to Yolanda Kettle's brilliant and faultless narration. A great introduction to this popular author - I look forward to listening to more of her novels on my daily walks.

3 people found this helpful

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Breath of fresh Spanish Air.

Joanna Trollope can write a good story, and she starts at the beginning and she finishes at the end..... and she doesn’t jump backwards and forwards in time. It’s amazingly refreshing in these days of time shifting and characters who have no character.... Joanna is an expert at her craft.
I thoroughly recommend this audiobook, the narration is excellent and it’s an absorbing story of the changes in family life and relationships. My only negative take is that the medical outcome seemed underplayed and a bit unrealistic. I have had a stroke myself so I found the relatives reaction a bit OTT and then all the difficulties concerning the “patient” seemed to be brushed under the carpet. On the whole though it is well worth a listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Another excellent novel

Again Trollope explores the complexities of family relationships and situations that one can all relate to. We have all been there in the ties that bind and sibling rivalry and feeling heard and unheard in family life. This story excels again in her very real understanding of human behaviour and how families navigate or don't navigate through crises. Very good narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Forgettable

Such wimpy characters, albeit confrontational over the most unimportant things. Surely all families don’t get on like that. Monica especially was unbelievably weak and wimpish . Struggled to finish it. Disappointing

1 person found this helpful

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Bit disappointing

Good premise for a story and I enjoyed the settings between Spain and London, however the story lacked depth and was tied up too quickly and neatly.

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A good story, good narration but heavily edited!

I adore Joanne Trollope books - gorgeous descriptions and I always end up caring about the believable characters. I never want her books to end.
The narrator was good but her narration was severely changed, editing out all the 'implosive' words......eg. Bella sounded like Ella, Terry sounded like Erry or Perry and even Jake sounded like 'ache' a lot of the time. Spoilt it a bit because I was very aware of the changes and was waiting for them. Despite this, the voices for the different characters were very believable and I loved the story about sibling rivalry and respect for parents - over many miles, UK and Spain 🇪🇸.

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Excellent book

Great read well written , love the Spanish countryside , the story of the intertwining
Of family and their relationships.
Very well narrated

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Irritating characters and weak story

Sadly have to say that I didn't enjoy this at all. Despite having enjoyed many JT books in the past. I found the characters to be so very irritating and annoying: weak personalities, badly drawn with quarrelsome behaviours. Listened whilst rolling my eyes about them and I wanted to slap them all at one point or another for their shear stupid, inaction and then overreaction in other cases. The grandchildren were particularly trite. They are all welcome to each other. The story didn't rescue them.

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Believable story,

I can relate to the people in this story, certainly they were well portrayed. At times though I wanted to shake them and say get on with it. Talk.........I don’t think people would be so hesitant to speak
their mind in a family situation. Monica especially seemed so wet. Overall I enjoyed the book though.

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Excellent

I always enjoy Joanna Trollope’s books but this is JT at her best. Packed full of characters all brought to life by Yolanda Kettles outstanding performance, their lives intertwining beautifully.
Her narration made this story for me, no confusing accents just very subtle intonations for each character, fantastic.
Thank you both, I can’t wait for the next book.