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Brother and Sister

3.11 of 5 stars 3.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,032 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Brought up by the same parents, but born to two different mothers, Nathalie and David have grown up as brother and sister, and share a fierce loyalty. Their decision as adults to try to find their birth mothers is no straightforward matter. It affects, acutely and often painfully, their spouses and children, the people they work with, and, most poignantly, the two women wh ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 11th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,578)
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Paula Vince
Nathalie and David are the adopted children of Ralph and Lynne Dexter. Now in their 30s with families of their own, they decide to search for their birth mothers. It's easy to see why Joanna Trollope is such a well-known writer of domestic dramas. I feel if she were to discover the secret feelings of any of our families and households, she could probably spin a pretty interesting yarn, with the blends of personalities to be found beneath one roof.

I think another of Trollope's trademarks is givin
...more
Manda
Precis: Two children adopted into the same family attempt to find their birth family. Tears and happiness await.

I have read too much Trollope. I can honestly say that I have met many of the characters in this book before in Trollope’s other books, and that they are behaving the same now as they did then. I know that most of the marriages will be undergoing power struggles, with the people in it unhealthily dependant on each other. I know that some of the adult children will be incapable of livin
...more
Jennifer
I have recently found my biological brother after a very long search covering years and I looked very hard to find a book that would help me sort out some of my feelings. I found that not only were there hardly any books on adoptions period, but that the library collection of them was even worse. I finally decided on this one because even though the synopsis was not the same as what I was living, it was still similar.

I really felt like the author nailed it. There were so many times I was reading
...more
Minnie
I am a dyed-in-the-wool Joanna Trollope fan so if she were to publish her laundry list, I would be thrilled to read it. Brother and Sister was most ably narrated by Lindsay Duncan and did not disappoint at all. There are no great surprises in a Trollope novel, just the lives of ordinary people and how they deal with a bend in their life road. But the way she tells her stories, presents the problems and how her characters deal with their problems has a ring of authenticity that few authors can em ...more
Bea Alden
Usually I love Joanna Trollope's books, but I liked this book less than the others I've read. It's about an adopted brother and sister who feel drawn in adult life to seek out their birth mothers. The story revolves around the emotional effects of this quest, on both of them and on all the people in their families. Somehow the exploration of each person's feelings seemed a bit overdrawn. Especially the feelings of the men! I thought the men in this story emoted way more than actual men would do!
K
Jun 24, 2008 K rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to K by: Ariella
Shelves: couldntfinish
I happened to be at Sefer ve-Sefel yesterday with some books to sell and was thinking of adding this one to the pile, even though I hadn't finished it. I'm not sure why I decided not to, but this morning I thought, why am I struggling to finish this book when I'm really not enjoying it? And that was when I decided to put it down.

I usually really like Joanna Trollope, so this was a surprise to me. Here too, her writing and characterization were superior to some of the mediocre books I've read; ho
...more
Faith
Jan 12, 2009 Faith rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2005
Nathalie and David are brother and sister, but they are both adopted and have different biological parents. All their lives they have wondered about where they really come from, and now when they both have partners and children of their own, they deside to find out about their pasts and find their biological mothers. This upsetts everybody. Their own families, their adoptive parents, their biological mothers and their families...

Everything feels quite constructed. Every posible problem about ad
...more
Jamie Pfammatter
It was truly just 'okay'. The plot synopsis intrigued me in the store but I had not read any of this authors other books so I decided to grab it at the library and was very glad I did not spend money on it. I did not enjoy the writing style. The characters did not evoke a single emotion in me and I was bored through much of the book.
Jane Irish Nelson
David and Nathalie were brought up as brother and sister, but both are adopted, so there is no genetic relationship between them. When Nathalie suddenly decides she wants to find her birth mother, she insists that David should also find his.

This is the story of how that search affects everyone in their lives -- their adoptive parents, David's wife and children, Nathalie's partner and daughter, and the mothers they are searching for.

While I enjoyed this book, I would have been more interested in
...more
Dana
Needed a quiet lazy morning, so I curled up in my favorite squishy soft chair and read for hours. Finished another Joanna Trollope novel, Brother and Sister, which was very good. It is the story of 2 grown siblings, both adopted by the same family, but born to different birthmothers, who go in search of those birthmothers. Of course, because this is my beloved Joanna Trollope, there and many other wonderful characters, plots and sub plots, lots of human angst and love and tears. This book is not ...more
Nancy
contrived but interesting exploration of the spectrum of reactions and ripples of adoption from two adopted siblings who look for their birthmothers as adults. the POV switches around so you get intimate with each birthmother and their families, the adopting parents, and the spouses, children and coworkers of the adopted brother and sister. she explains and analyzes the emotion explicitly, which might be tedious for some people but is right up my alley :) none of it particularly matches my exper ...more
Louise
This was a fairly good story but I wasn't particularily struck by the author's writing style. It was one of those books that you 'sort of enjoy' but at the same time, 'sort of DON'T enjoy'.

From back cover:

"We all need to know where we came from, where we belong. But for David and Nathalie, this need to know is more urgent than for most people, because they are adopted. Brought up by the same parents, but born to different mothers, they have grown up, fiercely loyal to one another, as brother and
...more
Tori
2004- What happens when an adult man and woman suddenly decide to seek out their biological mothers? Joanna Trollope introduces us to a wide cast of characters in this novel, and examines the effect the main characters', siblings Nathalie and David, sudden pressing search for their biological mothers has on those who surround them. It all starts when Steve, Nathalie's common-law husband has a friend at work whose girlfriend wants to interview adult adoptees. After talking with her, Nathalie deci ...more
Tara
I've recently discovered Joanna Trollope and am really enjoying her insight into her flawed characters and the way they're motivated. This is the fourth book of hers that I've read and it unfortunately didn't meet my expectations. Some of the insights were excellent and felt very honest. But some character actions just seemed like novelistic drama. The book doesn't come to a nice, well-rounded conclusion which, while unsatisfying as an observer, was realistic.

Not her best work, but enjoyable no
...more
Victoria
This was certainly a fast read. In general, I enjoyed it - this topic of adoption was interesting, but it wasn't really what I expected. I think I was hoping it would be a bit more like a Jodi Picoult book and it never reached that dramatic of a level. The characters, I think, were what was really lacking - they weren't entirely fleshed out and the P.O.V.s, particularly of the children, were weak. The writing was a little weak too - but that was probably more to do with the fact that I have been ...more
Mary
Apr 23, 2015 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebook
David and Nathalie are adopted siblings, but born from different parents. As adults with families of their own, they finally decide to find their birth mothers. The search disrupts everyone's life. I had a hard time understanding why this process was so difficult on their marriages. Also, the characters were mostly unlikeable. Different, but interesting book.
Almaz Sullivan
A book about a brother and sister - both adopted - from different families. One day the sister decides she wants to find her mother and encourages her brother to do the same. I thought the book was well researched and the characters well developed (typical for this writer). Overall, a good read - not too hard to read and it definitely gives food for thought.

Virpi
This was the 2nd Trollope book I've read and this time it wasn't a disappointment. (the first one was A Girl From the South and I just couldn't relate at all with the characters.) Brother and Sister is a well written description of two adopted children looking for their birth moms. After this I might take up more books by Trollope. It's always nice to find a good author whose books are "a safe bet".
Susan
Aug 12, 2010 Susan added it

"We all need to know where we come from, where we belong. But for David and Nathalie, this need to know is even more urgent, since they are adopt...more "We all need to know where we come from, where we belong. But for David and Nathalie, this need to know is even more urgent, since they are adopted. Brought up by the same parents but born to two different mothers, they have grown up as brother and sister, and share a fierce loyalty." Their decision, in their late thirties, to embark upon the jo
...more
Meg
I found this very slow to get started and a bit boring throughout. I generally enjoy Trollope, but not so much this time. Perhaps I found the content too alien - adoption and feelings of not belonging. This story may be exactly right for adopted children and their parents.
Sue
This book is about a search. It's about the effect it has on the main characters'spouses and children, and on their parents. I don't know how realistic the emotions are, but it felt very believable to me. I was caught up in everyone's feelings as I read, seeing multiple perspectives, aware that for every positive consequence there were also negative ones.

I didn't get quite such a sense of knowing all the characters myself as I do from (say) Rosamunde Pilcher's novels, nor did I find myself shock
...more
Davida Chazan
When Nathalie is interviewed about how being adopted effected her life, although initially she denies that it made any difference to her, she suddenly discovers a need to find her birth parents, and insists that her brother David (also adopted) do the same. This takes them down a road that neither of them were ever prepared to travel, and yet, are both, inexplicably drawn towards.

With "Brother and Sister" Joanna Trollope gives us a parallel study in human nature, but she does so with such simple
...more
Abigail M.
Sep 05, 2011 Abigail M. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like to read about people
Two adults embark on a self-finding/mother-finding journey to resolve their past. Adoption is a vehicle, rather than a theme, and while family plays an important role, there is no obsessions with it.

Trollope's adept at weaving lives together and I have read few books that imitate real life so well. Her ability to move from one character to the next, and to reach so deeply into each character is mesmerizing. There are a lot of characters though, so if you're Peefer, you should probably not read
...more
AtlantaTwin
Recommended from my Mom... just got into Chapter 2. I'm having difficulty reading it because of all the asides the author puts in mid-sentence. Sometimes, asides within and aside. It makes me have to re-read without the aside just to figure out what she's trying to say.

Now that I've finished, it was an intriguing read because I've got a friend who is currently going through an adoption and I know they'll be on one side of this conversation in the distant future. I wish them the best as their ch
...more
Shanna
"Brought up by the same parents, but born to two different mothers, Nathalie and David have grown up as brother and sister, and share a fierce loyalty. Their decision as adults to try to find their birth mothers is no straightforward matter. It affects, acutely and often painfully, their spouses and children, the people they work with, and, most poignantly, the two women who gave them up for adoption all those years ago."

This book made me think about adopted children and their desire to find the
...more
Col. Smith
A slightly slow paced novel which deals with adoption and its aftermath. Two adopted children, a girl and a boy (brother and sister of the title) go in search of their natural parents, though they had a comfortable life at home with their loving adoptive parents. Their identity search upsets the apple cart and causes distress, depression, feeling of inadequacy and similar negative emotions in their near and dear. Their birth mothers are also affected. It was an interesting read with deep psychol ...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
David and Natalie were adopted and had a happy childhood with their adoptive parents Lynn and Ralph, and they did not miss where they came from or did they? In their 30’s, in relationships and with children they decide to go on the journey to find their parents, David reluctantly and Natalie’s insistence.

Both got more than they bargained for and not anything like they were hoping for. I found it hard to believe that neither partner wanted to embrace their journey, they were both jealous of somet
...more
Elizabeth Wood
Hmmmm...
Every time I read a Joanna Trollope novel I am disappointed - why do I keep picking them up?
Gillian
As a fan of Joanna Trollope this did not disappoint. A little bit different but very good. In general this was an enjoyable short/medium read with plenty subjects and characters to sink one's teeth into. Recommended.
Debby Allen
The story was too even, (almost) all characters getting the same depth, which is interesting but doesn't provide direction. Diffuse.

Characters felt very real, their feeling s and reactions, and hearing about the same thing from different perspectives worked well. Some of the insights resonated surprising.

But, it all felt very /british/, even if that is only an american stereotype. Restraint, not speaking about things which leads to very crossed purposes. Even though it read as real, deliberate
...more
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Joanna Trollope Potter Curteis (aka Caroline Harvey)

Joanna Trollope was born on 9 December 1943 in her grandfather's rectory in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, England, daughter of Rosemary Hodson and Arthur George Cecil Trollope. She is the eldest of three siblings. She is a fifth-generation niece of the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope and is a cousin of the writer and broadcaster James Trol
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More about Joanna Trollope...
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