I first read Elizabeth Brundage's first novel earlier this year and absolutely loved it. When I saw she had another book out, I had to read it. Somebody Else's Daughter was a difficult book to read, at times, but absolutley beautifully written. I give it a B+.
Two young drifters, Nate and Cat- bottomed out on drugs and living on the margins of San Francisco- are forced by stress and circumstance to give up their infant daughter. Seventeen years later, Nate comes to the idyllic setting of the Berkshires to teach at the elite private Pioneer School- as his daughter's teacher.
Willa Golding, ensconced in a magnificent country home with her parents, has never worried about being adopted. But when the world she's always trusted becomes a foriegn place, she learns that her adoptive parents have not been totally honest with her- nor with others in their privileged circle.
Claire Squire is a visual artist struggling on the outskirts of her profession. It is a lucky break to get her troubled son, Teddy, a backdoor acceptance to Pioneer. But Teddy soon finds it's a precarious place well disguised by preppy ties, plaid skirts, and activities designed to look good on college applications. He sees through it all- but that, too, threatens his slippery grasp on a better future.
Somebody Else's Daughter is a collision of two very differnet fathers- biological and adoptive; a woman whose independence and talent have led her to dead ends in life and love; and a villain whose intentions slowly unfold with the help, witting and unwitting, of all those around him. An electric, suspenseful tale of conflicted characters and the fractured landscape of the American psyche, it scratches the surface of the Berkshire dream- a place where people go to live their ideals, and hide their secrets.
Ms. Brundage has a gift and a beautiful voice and it clearly comes through in this gripping book. I find myself tearing up at times, along with laughing and shaking my head in agreement. The story is told through several of the characters' eyes, and though at times the time period that has past is somewhat difficult to follow, the story holds on to you with a tight grip. There is somewhat of a suspense aspect, but the story is truly about family, and how different lives are behind closed doors. I highly recommend Somebody Else's Daughter if you enjoy reading a good, pleasant fiction read.
Up next is another library book, though I am not sure which one I am going to read. I need to check and see what book is due back next and read that one. I hope to get a few books read this holiday weekend as I have absolutely no plans. I am quite happy about this, and look forward to doing what strikes my fancy. I hope everyone else has a pleasant weekend and 4th of July and Happy Reading!