The Child's Child

The Child's Child

Large Print - 2013
Average Rating:
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Inheriting their late grandmother's sprawling, book-filled home in London, siblings Grace and Andrew Easton move in together and initially enjoy a shared life that is complicated by Andrew's gay relationship with a strident novelist, the shattering murder of a friend, and Grace's discovery of a long-lost manuscript.
Publisher: Thorndike, Maine : Center Point Large Print, 2013
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781611736144
1611736145
Branch Call Number: LP MF VINE
Characteristics: 399 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

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c
Christina1907
Jun 09, 2015

As a huge fan of Ruth Rendell, I was disappointed with this book. Don't let that put you off, as other readers liked it. However, I did feel that it was not a patch on her other skillfully-written Barbara Vine books, which are usually much darker in tone.

r
readerpat
Feb 01, 2015

A very unusual book. Two stories in one. Contains murder, homosexuality and unwed mothers. A rather abrupt ending. I think I will stick to Inspector Wexford books.

brianreynolds Jul 05, 2014

The Child’s Child, cleverly titled, seems less about the character Hope, born "out of wedlock” in post WWI England, than her mother and her uncle, less about the dilemmas and difficulties facing teen mothers than the botched job of Victorian morals regarding sex in general. The writing is superb. Barbara Vine keeps a tight rein on the reader’s interest, guiding her cast of fascinating characters from pitfall to peccadillo, effortlessly galloping from cliff-hanger to cliff-hanger. The twin narratives are archetypal comedies in the dramatic sense of the word. This is a fun read on topics that resonate in the Twenty-first Century and, tragically, are instructive in far too many parts of the world.

h
herbel
Oct 19, 2013

Vine (Rendell) does what she does best in this novel, exploring societal values and how individuals psychologically cope with the pressures they face when they counter these values. Not sure there was a strong enough contrast between the different centuries to warrant the comparison, though. There may still be some prejudices today from individuals and certain interest groups, but they cannot compare with the way the whole of society rejected unmarried mothers and homosexuals before, between and after the two WW wars.
The difference in the lengths of the two novels is too great. Once back to the present it was hard to recall what had actually taken place and it ended so abruptly. But skilfully written and captivating. Vine can make the mundane and ordinary seem exciting.

jeanner222 Apr 30, 2013

The Child’s Child is really two stories within one novel—one takes place in 2011, and the other takes place in 1929.

When Grace and Andrew inherit their grandmother’s house, they both move in, instead of selling it. Grace is working on her doctoral thesis and is single. Andrew is also single, and he is homosexual. Grace’s thesis concerns itself with unwed mothers in literature, and lo and behold, she becomes an unwed mother.

Here’s where the story gets really kooky: Grace is reading an unpublished novel, The Child’s Child. Maud and John Goodwin are the main characters, and, you guessed it, Maud is a young, unwed mother (hence the title), and John is the homosexual brother with whom she lives. And the similarities do not stop there.

I’m not sure what the author’s point is with this novel, but I did enjoy reading it. The concept of life imitating art was both creepy and engrossing.

s
StephenB
Apr 05, 2013

I've read all the other Barbara Vines,liked some of them very much, found others less enjoyable. This one I gave up on halfway through, just because it seemed too "programmatic" and predictable. Not having finished I'll never know whether I was right. But the seeming inevitable tragedy of the story-wthin-the-story didn't seem to be accompanied by anything else that struck me as entertaining or interesting.

m
meyoubou
Mar 02, 2013

I found this book riveting and read it almost in one sitting. I think it is Barbara Vine's best.

j
jthomas1527
Jan 31, 2013

One of Barbara Vine's best novels! Evocative of Wilkie Collins, and should be made into a Masterpiece Theater.

r
richnew
Jan 11, 2013

l love Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine. But, this book is showing her age and her attempt to stay current when her current is at least 20 years ago. And the characters are all abominable. That would be okay if the story was gripping but it felt very slapdash and some of the sentences made me cringe. It passes the time on the bus, but do not expect much more.

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