Diana Tutton only wrote three books. All of them feature dysfunctional families, although Guard Your Daughters is a quirky but relatively traditional romantic novel. Mamma is more unusual.
Joanna has been a widow for 20 years, because her husband died unexpectedly in the early days of their marriage. Although only 41, she has a 20-year-old daughter, Libby, with whom she has a close and loving relationship.
Joanna has just moved when Libby comes for a visit and informs her that she is getting married—to an Army major named Steven. The marriage is to be soon, because Steven expects to be deployed overseas within a few months.
At first, Joanna is not sure what attracted Libby to Steven. She finds him unattractive, and at 36, he is closer to her age than Libby’s. However, circumstances throw them together to live with her, and she begins to understand that she and Steven have more in common than Steven and Libby. With her feelings for Steven growing, Joanna must figure out how to navigate this emotional situation.
Tutton depicts these relationships skillfully, in a way that makes you feel only sympathy for the characters. It is an empathetic and emotionally astute portrayal.
I received a copy of this novel from the publishers in exchange for a free and fair review.