By Joanna Trollope
Dramatised in five episodes by Rachel Joyce
Episode Four - Chaos
Edie had dreamt about the house being full again but in her daydream there were no long queues for the bathroom!
Directed by Tracey Neale
'Edie put her hand out, took a breath and slowly, slowly pushed open his bedroom door. The room inside looked as if he had never left it' - a mum tries to come to terms with her empty nest but a husband can only think about the second honeymoon that can now begin...
Joanna Trollope's most heartfelt and enthralling novel has been dramatised into five episodes for Woman's Hour by Rachel Joyce. SECOND HONEYMOON explores what happens when the empty nest is suddenly full again.
Ben is leaving home to move in with his girlfriend. At twenty-two he's the youngest of the family and the last to leave. His mother, Edie, an actress, is distraught. She has defined her life as the necessary cog in her family's lives and suddenly she feels unnecessary and unimportant. Her husband, Russell, an agent, is glad to be freed of daily parental roles and is looking forward to having Edie to himself. Then Edie lands the unexpected lead role in 'Ghosts' by Ibsen and it is then the children begin to make noises about coming home again. Their other son, Matt, is struggling in a relationship in which he achieves and earns less than his girlfriend. His sister, Rosa, is wrestling with debt and the end of a turbulent love affair. Rosa is the first of the Boyd children to think she may have to move back in with her parents - just until she can make ends meet again. Russell is determined to fend her off but things don't quite go according to plan.
This is the empty nest, twenty-first-century style. Grown children going and then wanting to come back again but at a time when their parents should be getting ready for their second honeymoon. The story of two generations struggling with love, careers and parenthood makes for a riveting and funny family drama for Woman's Hour.
Joanna Trollope, the author of eagerly awaited novels, often centred around the domestic nuances and dilemmas of present-day life, has also written a number of historical novels and 'Britannia's Daughters', a study of women in the British Empire. In 1988 she wrote her first contemporary novel, 'The Choir' and this was followed by a number of hugely successful novels including: 'The Rector's Wife', 'Other People's Children', 'Brother and Sister' and 'Daughters in Law'.
Rachel Joyce has many radio credits to her name. Her most recent dramatisations for Radio 4 include - 'The Professor', 'The Portrait of a Lady' and 'Villette'. At present she is working on a dramatisation of 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
. Edie's dream about the house being full again did not have long queues for the bathroom!''