Someone Else's Child

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Simon & Schuster, 2000 - Fiction - 252 pages
11 Reviews
From debut novelist Nancy Woodruff comes this chilling and beautifully wrought story of forgiveness, renewal, and the ever-elusive second chance.

When fifteen-year-old Matt and his family move from Oregon to an affluent Connecticut suburb, the fact that he is home-schooled brands him as more than an outsider -- he is a town oddity. Just when he seems to have made inroads into the closed social circuit, just when he is embraced by a trio of teenage girls and feels his life might be changing for the better, he is responsible for a devastating car crash that leaves two of the girls dead.

Tara isn't in the car with her best friends. Instead, she's by her mother Jennie's bedside as she gives birth to a baby girl. While Jennie and her husband Chris mourn Tara's friends, and try to make sense of their eldest daughter's loss and their own new baby, a pervasive sense of blame begins to rain down on Matt. Jennie knows the community's reaction will surely ruin Matt's life. But when she reaches out to him, hiring him to work for her high school reunion company for the summer, Jennie suddenly finds herself vilified as well. In the face of community and family derision, both imagined and real, physical and emotional, Jennie and Matt soon find themselves in solidarity.As their attachment grows, Jennie realizes that she is bound to Matt by more than just compassion -- that the broken child she sought to save is, somehow, reviving her.

"Someone Else's Child" is a deeply moving story of guilt and forgiveness, despair and hope, and the intricacies of love and responsibility. In rich and unforgettable prose, Nancy Woodruff masterfully explores the fraying loyalties that can turn our worldupside down in the face of tragedy.

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Review: Someone Else's Child

User Review  - Goodreads

It was pretty good, a better book than I was afraid it was going to be. Not remarkable! Read full review

Review: Someone Else's Child

User Review  - Karen - Goodreads

It was pretty good, a better book than I was afraid it was going to be. Not remarkable! Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Nancy Woodruff, born and raised in Chicago, received an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Henfield Prize/Transatlantic Review Award. She has taught at Columbia University, the State University of New York at Purchase, and Richmond College in London, where she now lives.

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