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Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth…
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Somebody Else's Daughter

by Elizabeth Brundage

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3131835,548 (3.32)17

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I'd kind of have to compare this book to a train wreck -- lots of bad stuff going on, but I had to keep reading to find out how it ended (that & the fact that I was reading it for book club). I went into this novel expecting a story about a teenage girl, adopted at birth, who somewhat purposefully accidentally ends up in her birth father's high school classroom -- this based on the description on the back of the book. But that really doesn't describe this novel at all. There are so many things going on in this story with a number of characters (most of them bad) that it makes it difficult to really figure out what the storyline is supposed to be. Not only did some aspects seemed farfetched, but none of the characters (with the exception of maybe one) were particularly likeable. There was infidelity, pornography, drugs, murder, animal cruelty....basically too much for one novel. It's as if Brundage tried to come up with as many despicable characters & actions as she could, and then she tried to put them all in one book. But it just seemed way too dysfunctional. Had she picked a couple of these things & perhaps written a story based on that, this may have been more palatable. ( )
  indygo88 | Aug 4, 2013 |
Willa is an infant born to two drug addicts in San Francisco, who responsibly decide to give their infant daughter up for adoption to a wealthy couple living a privileged life in a small town in New York. Willa's mother dies the day they give Willa away, due to her advanced AIDS-related illness. Many years later, her father has pulled his life together and seeks a position teaching at a private school where Willa attends. Unknown to Willa, her parents, or the many aflluent parents in the community, he is able to take a minor role in Willa's life as a teacher to observe her firsthand and she has turned out. This storyline is enbedded in a number of other storylines which all intersect, complicated the plot and transitioning the story from a simple story of adoption to one that includes lust, sexual affairs, drug abuse, pornography, the defilement of women, animal torture, sexual brutality and vile and pointless violence. This is not a pretty story and there were several points where I almost stopped reading it. The story also alternated from the viewpoints of all of the primary characters, which made the novel confusing at times. It didn't help that none of the characters was particularly likeable- they all had huge character flaws and most had major secrets. I was also confused at times as two of the main male characters had sexually deviant behavior with other women and I had to keep trying to remember who was who. Was this really necessary? While the story wrapped up in a rather satisfying way, it was a rough road getting to the end. I did not particularly enjoy this one as it was pretty barbaric at times, though there were some good parts that were more enjoyable and the writing style was very descriptive and interesting. ( )
  voracious | Jul 26, 2013 |
This book was full of drama and intrigue, which was not what I expected on the outset. I thought this book was going to delve into the intricacies of adoption from the adopter and the adoptee's viewpoint and psyche. So, I was a little let down when it turned into a full on thriller. It's almost as if the author had 10 different ideas that she wanted to write about, and instead of writing 10 (or 5) different books, she threw all her plot ideas into one book. I certainly kept you guessing, and the pace was quick, but I would have enjoyed a more indepth look at one or two characters. ( )
  AmeKole | Jul 25, 2013 |
This book has a gripping, emotional beginning. The framework surrounding Willa's birth and Nate's younger years provides the necessary foundation for the remainder of the book. However, the majority of the book was somewhat flat compared to the start of it. The plot had so many twists and the characters had so many flaws it made the story seem more improbable than it could have if the author had focused on fewer of the flaws, but in a deeper, more probing way. The events unfolding in Willa's life late in the book seemed too predictable. I really didn't care for the book overall. ( )
  jazzyereader | Jun 4, 2012 |
Although the cover comment from The Washington Post says "gripping", I really didn't find it so until the last 75 pages or so. I also found the story sort of implausible. It took me a long time to read it but I wasn't willing to just give up and I am glad I finished it. ( )
  readingfiend | Oct 13, 2011 |
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There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness. --Josh Billings
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For my parents
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We left San Francisco that morning even though your mother was sick.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452295378, Paperback)

A taut, complex psychological thriller from the author of The Doctor's Wife

Like The Doctor's Wife - which The Boston Globe called "a compelling read"-Somebody Else's Daughter is a literary page-turner peopled with fascinating and disturbing characters. In the idyllic Berkshires, at the prestigious Pioneer School, there are dark secrets that threaten to come to light. Willa Golding, a student, has been brought up by her adoptive parents in elegant prosperity, but they have fled a mysterious and shameful past. Her biological father, a failing writer and former drug addict, needs to see the daughter he abandoned, and so he gains a teaching position at the school. A feminist sculptor initiates a reckless affair, the Pioneer students live in a world to which adults turn a blind eye, and the headmaster's wife is busy keeping her husband's current indiscretions well hidden. Building to a breathtaking collision between two fathers-biological and adoptive, past and present- Somebody Else's Daughter is both a suspenseful thriller and a probing study of richly conflicted characters in emotional turmoil.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Willa's biological father, a failing writer and former drug addict, put Willa up for adoption, only to realize that he couldn't go on in life without seeing her again. Willa's adoptive parents, anything but ordinary, are doing their best to hide a strange and sordid past. These dramatic circumstances swirl around Willa, as she tries her hardest to grasp onto a sliver of normality.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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