About the Book: A novel of psychological suspense in which a private adoption’s dark consequences play out years later, at an elite prep school in the Berkshires.

My Review: That has to be the shortest synopsis I’ve ever found for a book, but it’s pretty accurate. This book has a huge cast of characters and they are all quite different from one another. We are treated to male and female, adult and teenager point of views throughout the book. While the adoption is where we begin, the book is about so much more.

I had a hard time putting this book down as the inner worlds of each character were revealed. I sympathized greatly with some, and rather hated others. Pornography and the role of sexuality in people’s lives plays a significant role in this book. The spiraling effects of each individual decision was fascinating to me and the truth that our decisions impact the people we love was really driven home for me.

There’s also an exploration of the role of feminism in today’s world. The character of the artist Claire represented this greatly, and there were so many little nuggets of wisdom tucked within the pages. I was struck by this particular passage as two of the characters discuss feminism. One has just said that everything is open to interpretation depending on your own life experiences. Claire responds:

Maybe, but then everyone’s justified in their thinking and there’s not right and wrong. Laws become arbitrary decisions. That doesn’t work either. Then you have teams. You’re either on one team or another, right or left, Red Sox or Yankees–even the judges on the Supreme Court. It becomes more about the teams and players than the issues.

I thought that was so true. But this quote perfectly sums up this book for me:

It’s been my experience, Mrs. Golding, that teenagers seem to yearn for the truth in the same way that adults yearn to ignore it….If nothing else, it’s always liberating.

If you’re looking for a book with strong character development that’s also a bit of a thriller than I recommend this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and as I wished I had someone to discuss it with when I was finished, I think it would make a great book club selection!

Somebody Else’s Daughter is published by Viking Adult a division of Penguin. You can find a Q&A with the author and reading group guide here.

Please note that there is a lot of frank sexual talk in this book as well as some explicit language.

This post was written byAmy and is filed under Fiction, Women's Fiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Somebody Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage”

  1. Shana Says:

    This is our August book club selection. It’s sitting on my shelf, waiting its turn 🙂

    I’m glad to see you liked it!

  2. Darlene Says:

    This book certainly sounds very good. I’m debating on ordering it right now or waiting for it from the library. Either way I want to read it. Great review!

  3. Shana Says:

    Amy, I forgot to ask earlier, have you read her debut novel, The Doctor’s Wife? My book club read it several months ago and it’s great … dark and suspenseful but good.

  4. Literate Housewife Says:

    As an adoptive mother, I am interested in books about adoption. Our adoption wasn’t private and I know that those can be especially painful. I’m going to have to read this one. Thanks for the great review!

  5. Amy Says:

    Shana,
    I haven’t had a chance yet, but I really to–it looks great!

  6. Jennifer @ Quiverfull Family Says:

    Very interested in the adoption aspects of this story – our family has a real heart for adoption :).

  7. Shana Says:

    Amy,
    I started on Somebody Else’s Daughter today and am really liking it so far. She has a way of taking her time setting up the place and characters before things really start rolling that I just love.

    Jennifer,
    Have you read Girls in Trouble by Caroline Leavitt? It’s about an open adoption. I enjoyed it. It is sad and tragic but something about the ending is redeeming.

  8. Laura Says:

    Ah, yikes! Again, what a GREAT story and I am so tempted to buy or borrow it… but I dont think my nerves can handle it, if it’s a ‘thriller’. But wow, thanks for finding such great books! It’s not often a ‘thriller/suspense’ book can capture my attention.

  9. Sally Says:

    I like thrillers, but I don’t want one so good that it will keep me awake at night.

  10. gautami tripathy Says:

    Despite the explicit language, I liked it. It makes an impact.

    BTW, I linked your review with mine:

    Someone Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage

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