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Other People's Children

Other People's Children

Paperback

By (author) Joanna Trollope

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 194mm x 26mm | 259g
  • Publication date: 23 January 1999
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552997889
  • ISBN 13: 9780552997881
  • Sales rank: 141,922

Product description

For eight-year-old Rufus, life has become complicated. His parents, Josie and Tom, have divorced and are setting off on separate paths. But now, other people have had to become involved, like his mother's new husband Matthew and his father's new friend Elizabeth. What's even worse is that there are other children too, Matthew's three teenagers, who have been conditioned by their mother Nadine to hate his mother Josie. Matthew's children come to their father for weekends and make it clear how much they loathe Josie. Rufus secretly prefers to be with his father, in his peaceful flat in Bath, where he realises that he doesn't actually hate the idea of a stepmother, if she is peaceful and sane like Elizabeth. But where other people's children are concerned, neat solutions seldom occur ...

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Author information

Joanna Trollope is the author of eagerly awaited and sparklingly readable novels often centred around the domestic nuaunces and dilemmas of life in present-day England. She has also written a number of historical novels and Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire. Joanna Trollope was born in Gloucestershire and now lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.

Review quote

"This compelling, and at times heart-rending, novel is Trollope at her very best" Ideal Home "A gripping read - as shrewdly observant of psychological and domestic detail as anything she has written" Daily Telegraph "Wonderfully and compulsively readable... She can be as subtle as Austen, as sharp as Bronte. Trollope's brilliant" Mail on Sunday "Trollope has shown herself capable of such emotional depth, that although you turn the pages quickly, it is with trembling fingers" The Times

Editorial reviews

From acclaimed Britisher Trollope (The Best of Friends, 1998, etc.), a bittersweet tale of the painfully divided affections created whenever a stepfamily is formed. An adroit choreographer of the baffled dance of the contemporary English family, Trollope now details the confusions caused as old marriages end and new alliances solidify. When Josie Carver marries Matthew Mitchell, a deputy-school principal, it's a second marriage for each. Both have children from their first: for Josie, it's eight-year-old Rufus, while Matthew has three - Becky, 15, Rory, 12, and 10-year old Claire. The previous marriages were mutually unsatisfactory. Josie, married to widower Tom, with grown children of his own, found him decent but dull. Matthew, hitched to volatile, self-absorbed Nadine, tired of coping with her eccentric behavior. But, though stepmothers are traditionally regarded as malevolent forces, stepchildren can also behave badly. And while the Mitchell trio found mother Nadine difficult to deal with, loyalty demands that they now make Josie's life difficult (as well as their father's). In fact, Tom's adult daughter Dale deliberately destroys his new romance with thirty something civil servant Elizabeth - because Dale never got over the death of her own mother when she was a child. The parents are also tugged by loyalties to their children. Josie's new marriage undergoes increasing strain as Nadine blackmails her children emotionally, the children fail at school, and Becky runs away. When Matthew's three move back with him, Josie feels not just even more stressed but alienated from Matthew (who takes his children's side instead of supporting her). Still, Nadine's emotional breakdown and a professional crisis for Matthew bring the family closer together, and Josie's Rufus begins to feel as much a part of the new family as his half-siblings. Family ties affirmed with warmth and wisdom. (Kirkus Reviews)