It is Joanna Trollope’s bad luck that the subject of her new novel has also been covered by a recent successful BBC documentary, which in turn led to an avalanche of newspaper publicity and culminated in a song that reached number one in the Christmas charts. But she is an author who relies on zeitgeisty subjects. On this occasion Gareth Malone and his choir of military wives have got there first and exposed many of her readers to their heartbreaking stories.
Of course a novel provides the opportunity for a more nuanced account of the plight of the army wife than a TV show or a pop song. Unfortunately, The Soldier’s Wife doesn’t always pull this off, though there are parts of this book which demonstrate that Trollope’s control of plot