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Friday, October 30, 2015

The Child's Child: A Novel

This one was a doozy and thought-provoking. This is Barbara Vine's The Child's Child

Siblings Grace and Andrew inherit their grandmother's mansion--and with it comes love, betrayal, and a long lost secret. They both inhabit the mansion, and with them comes Andrew's boyfriend, James. He and Grace grow close until one night, they sleep together and Grace finds herself pregnant. Meanwhile, in the house she finds a long lost manuscript, The Child's Child, that also has a pair of dysfunctional siblings from a century ago. Their stories mirror each other and twist together in a web of sex and betrayal.

Let's just lay it all out on the line – this book was creepy. I kind of didn't know what I was getting myself into, but it was really well reviewed and I figured, why not?

Why not, indeed.

That being said, I will say that I did like the book. It's two stories in one, the first story being a woman who accidentally sleeps with her brother's boyfriend, and in the meantime she's searching for a book that will inform her dissertation. That book is about another set of siblings who have an equally screwed up relationship. The young sister gets pregnant in her teens, and her gay brother decides to take a job in another town and play her off as his wife in order to kill two birds with one stone. It's the early 20th century, so she can't be a teen mom and he can't be gay man. It works beautifully until the sister becomes utter and complete ungrateful brat. It was around the middle of the book when I decided I hated the sister, and not in the way that I hated really good characters who turned out to be evil. She was just a shit. When her life completely changes in adulthood, you would think she'd get better. Nope, still a jerk.

One thing I would have liked to see is more of the story of the modern brother and sister. I thought that they were really fascinating, and while the middle section that was essentially the novel being sought out was interesting, I found the front relationship between the protagonist, her brother, and her brother's boyfriend to be most interesting part of the story. Perhaps we can get a follow up, Ms. vine?

For purchase below.

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