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Brother and Sister

by Joanna Trollope

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4741440,701 (2.97)10
We all need to know where we come from, where we belong. But for David and Nathalie, this need is more urgent than for most people, because they are adopted. Brought up by the same parents, but born to different mothers, they have grown up, fiercely loyal to one another, as brother and sister.
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English (13)  Swedish (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
search for bio-moms leads in unexpected directions
  ritaer | Jul 10, 2021 |
This book on adoption had me wondering.

David and Nathalie were adopted by the same family. They are from different mothers. They know from an early age that they were adopted, and are repeatedly told that they were "chosen". The grow up feeling loved and believing they don't need to know where they came from.

But then, when faced with a genetic condition in her own young child, Nathalie suddenly feels the need to meet her mother, to know more about her. She talks to David and finally they both are in pursuit.

Their adoptive mother finds this decision difficult to handle. She wonders if she will be supplanted by the mothers who weren't there. She feels hurt.

But would she? Apparently she adopted the children during a time when birth mothers' names were kept secret. "Closed" adoptions. But in the years since, adoptions have become increasingly more open, and now it is rare to keep these secrets. What did she feel she had to protect? Would such a mother really feel threatened? I questioned this assumption. Her relationship with her children was good. There was no reason to think it would not remain so.

More believable to me was the brother and sister suddenly realizing that they do want to know. They have been pushing down this interest all their lives. What I could understand is resentment against their parents for their insistence that they don't need to know.

Obviously, the book made me think about different adoption experiences. I have read several books featuring adoption, including the biography of Steve Jobs, in which Jobs insists he always felt a hole, like he was missing something. I wondered if that were really true or a way to attract attention, but now I wonder, is this a common experience?

For me, a book that makes me think is worth something. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
I would have rated this 3.5 stars if half stars were an option. Much better than average, but I'm stingy with 4 and 5 star ratings so....... ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2723374.html

A novel about grownup siblings who have always known that they were adopted, and decide to find out about their birth parents, upending existing relationships with their adopted family and their spouses. I don't have personal experience of adoption myself, and I wonder whether Trollope really does either; the plot had no surprises and I didn't feel that the characters' reactions to their new self-knowledge rose much above cliche. It's a long time since I read any Joanna Trollope, and my memory is that her books were mostly better than this. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 11, 2016 |
This book is about a search. It's about the effect it has on the main characters'spouses and children, and on their parents. I don't know how realistic the emotions are, but it felt very believable to me. I was caught up in everyone's feelings as I read, seeing multiple perspectives, aware that for every positive consequence there were also negative ones.

I didn't get quite such a sense of knowing all the characters myself as I do from (say) Rosamunde Pilcher's novels, nor did I find myself shocked out of preconceived ideas as I do often when reading Libby Purves' work. But I did feel I understood more after reading it. Joanna Trollope dealt fairly with all her people and brought the whole to a satisfactory conclusion. Recommended. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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We all need to know where we come from, where we belong. But for David and Nathalie, this need is more urgent than for most people, because they are adopted. Brought up by the same parents, but born to different mothers, they have grown up, fiercely loyal to one another, as brother and sister.

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We all need to know where we come from, where we belong. But for David and Nathalie, this need is more urgent, because they are adopted. Brought up by the same parents, but born to two different mothers, Nathalie and David have grown up as brother and sister, and share a fierce loyalty. Their decision as adults to try to find their birth mothers is no straightforward matter. It affects, acutely and often painfully, their spouses and children, the people they work with, and, most poignantly, the two women who gave them up for adoption all those years ago. Exploring her subject with inimitable imagination and humanity, the celebrated author of Marrying the Mistress and The Rector’s Wife once again works her magic.
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