Book Review: Balancing Act by Joanna Trollope

book-review-joanna-trollope-balancing-act-uprightFour strong women. All working in a family business. But what happens when they begin to want different things? And what about the men – and the children – in their lives?

Susie Moran has always been the breadwinner in her family. Her husband was the one who was there for their three girls. But now he wants something of his past back – the life he had before Susie’s career took off, before they had children. And those children don’t see their mother’s business the way she has always seen it, thereby threatening the balance she has worked so hard to achieve.

And then, amidst the simmering tensions, someone significant from the past, someone almost forgotten, turns up. The problems of the past, the present, and the future all become challenges to the stability of both family and work. Which relationships – if any – will survive?


I’m a big fan of Joanna Trollope usually and I was looking forward to this as a light easy read after focusing on some quite heavy literature recently.

Trollope is renowned for bringing out the subtleties in our everyday lives and bringing characters to life who face the day to day battles we can all relate to. However, although the characters in this book are believable and the storyline circled lazily through each of their personal perspectives, I didn’t grasp onto any of them as individuals and had to keep checking back which of the sisters was which.

The novel does reveal the intricacies and difficulties with running a family business and how each of the relationships, even within a close-knit group can be challenged whilst working together. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Susie’s estranged father and her grandchildren Maisie and Fred as it showed just how wonderful children are at seeing beyond the way someone looks and being the bridge between adults who have a shared and difficult history.

Overall, quite a disappointing read as I couldn’t engage with the characters in the same way I have with some of her other novels – plus I couldn’t help finding similarities between this story and that of Emma Bridgewater.

Rating: 6/10


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