The Child's Child: A Novel

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Dec 4, 2012 - Fiction - 302 pages
9 Reviews
INCLUDES AN EXCERPT OF RENDELL’S FINAL NOVEL, DARK CORNERS

From three-time Edgar Award–winning mystery writer Ruth Rendell, writing here under her Barbara Vine pseudonym, an ingenious novel-within-a-novel about brothers and sisters and the violence lurking behind our society’s taboos.

When their grandmother dies, Grace and Andrew Easton inherit her sprawling, book-filled London home, Dinmont House. Rather than sell it, the adult siblings move in together, splitting the numerous bedrooms and studies. The arrangement is unusual, but ideal for the affectionate pair—until the day Andrew brings home a new boyfriend. A devilishly handsome novelist, James Derain resembles Cary Grant, but his strident comments about Grace’s doctoral thesis soon puncture the house’s idyllic atmosphere. When he and Andrew witness their friend’s murder outside a London nightclub, James begins to unravel, and what happens next will change the lives of everyone in the house. Just as turmoil sets in at Dinmont House, Grace escapes into reading a manuscript—a long-lost novel from 1951 called The Child’s Child—never published because of its frank depictions of an unwed mother and a homosexual relationship. The book is the story of two siblings born a few years after World War One. This brother and sister, John and Maud, mirror the present-day Andrew and Grace: a homosexual brother and a sister carrying an illegitimate child. Acts of violence and sex will reverberate through their stories.

The Child’s Child is an enormously clever, brilliantly constructed novel-within-a-novel about family, betrayal, and disgrace. A master of psychological suspense, Ruth Rendell, in her newest work under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, takes us where violence and social taboos collide. She shows how society’s treatment of those it once considered undesirable has changed—and how sometimes it hasn’t.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elmoelle - LibraryThing

This book is made up of two stories about illegitimate children, one that acts as a framing device for the other. The more modern story is about a woman who is finishing up a thesis about illegitimate ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - madamepince - LibraryThing

Why? I actually asked myself, "Why was this book written?" when I finished it. There's no question that Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine writes well, but why this plot with these characters? Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
7
Section 3
11
Section 4
29
Section 5
37
Section 6
43
Section 7
48
Section 8
53
Section 21
143
Section 22
149
Section 23
154
Section 24
166
Section 25
175
Section 26
181
Section 27
192
Section 28
193

Section 9
65
Section 10
71
Section 11
75
Section 12
79
Section 13
87
Section 14
94
Section 15
101
Section 16
109
Section 17
118
Section 18
126
Section 19
133
Section 20
135
Section 29
205
Section 30
218
Section 31
229
Section 32
237
Section 33
245
Section 34
256
Section 35
264
Section 36
268
Section 37
276
Section 38
279
Section 39
293
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Barbara Vine is a pseudonym for Ruth Rendell, who has won numerous awards, including three Edgars, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as three Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writer’s Association. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London. Ruth Rendell's newest novel is No Man's Nightingale.

Ruth Rendell has won three Edgar Awards, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as four Gold Daggers and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England's prestigious Crime Writers' Association. Her remarkable career has spanned more than fifty years, with more than sixty books published. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.

Bibliographic information