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Somebody Else's Daughter

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  2,629 ratings  ·  414 reviews
Two young drifters, Nate and Cat, are forced by stress and circumstance to give up their infant daughter Willa for adoption. For seventeen years, Willa has lived in elegant prosperity with Joe and Candace Golding, her adoptive parents, in the Massachusetts Berkshires, where she attends the elite, private Pioneer School. But the Goldings have fled a mysterious past, and whe ...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Plume (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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When I first accepted this book for review, I was under the impression that it was mostly about the thoughts and feelings of Willa Golding, a teenager who was adopted as a baby by wealthy parents. It’s not. Although Willa’s point of view certainly comes into the story, this book is about misogyny, p*rn*gr*phy, pr*stituti*on, drug abuse, and a host of other sordid activities. Before I give my other comments on the book, I’d like to state that in no way do I believe that Brundage endorses these vi ...more
Dottie Jones
Aug 12, 2008 Dottie Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes good literary fiction
Recommended to Dottie by: my sister
I thought this was an exceptional novel. It reads like an excellent literary novel, but before you know it you're caught up in a thriller that will not let you rest until you've finished. I was up all night with this one and sad when I'd finished it. This author has another book called The Doctor's Wife, which I've just picked up. I'm so happy I discovered this author.
Jane
This was a "I'm reading this to find out the ending" kind of book. It was kind of grizzly but couldn't stop reading it. I even kept it overdue from the library!
Shannon
Too graphic for my taste, in a not-so-tasteful way.
Krysia
Jul 10, 2008 Krysia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those needing a gripping vacation read
Boy oh boy these characters have hidden secrets. Just about all of them & more than I expected.
She'Davia Williams
Okay this book was by far one of the worst books I have ever read. There wasnt a plot and it kept switching back and forth between characters. The summary was incredibly misleading. I thought the book was going to be about Willa and about Nate and how their relationship interacts when he starts working at the school. But it was nothing of the sort. I couldn't even finish the book! I normally don't abandon books, no matter how bad they are, but this one...it just wasn't worth torturing myself for ...more
Vannessagrace Vannessagrace
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine
Good storyline, good plot but very graphic and perverse. I think the author could have told the same story without so much violence and sex. I came close to throwing this book away but I stuck it out hoping it would improve which it did a little. That said my favorite part of the book is when they play prison poker. This could be made into a movie but it would have to be toned down quite a bit.
Debbie
Everything is not alright in the Berkshires regardless of what it looks like on the surface. This story supports the theory that things are not always the way they appear. The past does filter it’s way quietly but significantly into the present and future. What looks good can sometimes truly be evil. What looks bad at its core may be struggling, fighting an inner battle to be good. Life isn’t easy. People make mistakes but if they really want it, change can prevail.

I wasn’t sure what I was going
...more
Jessica
Elizabeth Brundage takes a much bigger bite than she can chew in the complexity and multitude of issues she tries to address in Somebody Else's Daughter. Included among the many conflicts her characters face, are those of post-adoption identity crises (on the part of both parent and child), the return of an adult to childhood haunts, eating disorders, drug abuse, physical abuse, animal abuse, sexual assault, prostitution, AIDS and confrontations resulting from socioeconomic disparity.

Perhaps th
...more
Tracy
The first book in a very, very long time that made me gasp out loud when a character did something I didn't like! The ending was a bit too neat and tidy for my taste, but it was so good overall that I didn't mind all that much really...
Brianne
Jul 28, 2008 Brianne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brianne by: Mom
If you're looking for a book that is consistently taking you by surprise, Somebody Else's Daughter is for you. The characters are very well developed, and completely engrossing. Very well written, and a lot of fun to read.
Nancy
I did not care for the style of writing in this book at all. I ask myself why I bothered to finish reading it since I did not really care about the characters or what happened to them. The plot was contrived and false.
Sasha
great book! read it with my book club - ferocious discussions followed!
Shelby Castleberry
To many stories intwined together... it all ended on one page.
Jeni
I had nothing to do. I had already finished both my current reading book and it was project real. Tehm finished the book and suggested that I read it becuase she said it was a really good book. Since it was her personl book she let me borrow it and I bagan to read. The first chapter pulled me in and I just couldnt get enough. I kept reading and reading and my book was suddenly pulled away and I got fustrated, because I wanted to keep reading. I look up to see kazi and sharon laughing. (they too ...more
Mari
I’m not sure where to start. This is really Nate, Catherine and Willa’s story. Nate and Catherine give Willa up for adoption at the beginning of the book and we quicly jump forward sixteen years.

Nate is no longer addicted to drugs and has taken control of his life. He accepts a teaching job at Willa’s high school to learn a little about her. He wants to see her but he doesn't want her to know who he is. We learn bits and pieces of the characters as the book progresses (I mentioned this on twitte
...more
Peter
Every once in a while you come across a book that stands out from the bulk of what you’ve been reading. That was the case for me with Elizabeth Brundage’s Somebody Else’s Daughter (Viking, 2008).

What makes Brundage’s novel so remarkable? Several things, including how she structures the novel, the complexity of the plot, the depth of the characters, the world she created, and her handling of controversial topics.

Somebody Else’s Daughter is told through the perspective of seven or eight characters
...more
Michelle
This book seems to start out about two families - Nate and Catherine, drug addicts who put their daughter up for adoption, and daughter Willa's new family. After an initial section which introduces all the characters - Nate, now reformed and a writer and teacher, Maggie and Jake who run the school, Claire the artist who moves to town with her son Teddy after her father's death, Maggie and Jake's daughter Ada, Willa and her parents - the book spends a while building the setting while switching ba ...more
Deborah
In a hurry at the FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY BOOK STORE, I reached over and grabbed the book with the back of a girl's head on the cover, and quickly scanned the synopsis on the back. Intriguing? Maybe...and I bought it. The book lay on my night stand for days, and when everything else was done, I picked it up and began reading. Amazingly, I could hardly put it down. Elizabeth Brundage wrote a tightly knit story involving many interesting characters whose lives are wound together in a sleepy idyllic ...more
Anita Adams
I read a great deal of contemporary fiction. I enjoy it because it takes current topics, explores them, and offers different perspectives. Generally, the author will choose a topic or two, research them well, and then write a story that not only entertains, but also enlightens the reader.
In Someone Else's Daughter, Elizabeth Brundage explores the topics of adoption and drug addiction--in addition to perverse sexual encounters, pornography, prostitution, murder, dog fighting, eating disorders, A
...more
Ashley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica
An Incredible Suspenseful Rich page turner- I was torn between finishing the book sadly leaving the story versus needing to know what happens next..
I was immediatley immersed in the believable characters from drug-addicted parents giving up their baby, to the wealthy Berkshire families that send their children to the prestigious private school. I loved how the book was told from different characters' point of view. The depth and variety of issues that are involved including but not limited to ad
...more
Alisa
An interesting story of how tangled our ties can be, and how our lies to ourselves are far more dangerous than we ever know until they catch up to us. I liked how the author was able to capture the confusion of the teenage experiences, especially as they begin to understand their own privilege, the struggles of the less privileged, identity, and the beginnings of taking responsibility as full adults. At the same time, the adults were flawed, most of them making their own realizations of past eve ...more
Carrie
My mother had picked this up off the bargain bookshelf and that should have been my first clue. While I was at her house and desperate for reading material, I thought I would give it a go. I really thought the book was off to a good start even if it was a little too graphic for my taste. Unfortunately it quickly went downhill and seemed to me as if the author were hoping the book would be picked up to become one of those horrid Lifetime movies. It is quite unfortunate because some of the ideas b ...more
Melissa
I picked this up, I admit, because I liked the cover. I was really pleasantly surprised.

I have to warn, it's not a light read. In fact, it is very, very dark. I had trouble sleeping after finishing it last night. But, really, it's very, very good.

The writing is fabulous, and the characters are really dynamic and interesting. There were some parts that I felt were just too implausible and could have been written another way, but on the whole, it was very enjoyable (when it wasn't very disturbin
...more
Anneka
It was way better than I expected at the beginning. I wish I would have realized it was not a mindless, summer read from the get-go. Psychological thriller indeed!
Once you get through the myriad of character introductions (which could have been set up better as I almost stopped reading because it lacked flow and encouraged so much confusion) and recognize that the intense and realistic situations are intentional to make you actively think, actively question your thoughts, and maybe even to upset
...more
laaaaames
I was hoping for family drama, and that's not exactly what I got. That is not the book's fault, but the whirlwind of elements contained within this volume grew to the point of ridiculousness. Prostitutes, porn, murder, oh my!

I loved those who I thought were truly at the heart of the story: Nate and Willa. I think the book would have been much better served to be more about the people it was actually about.

(read: 227)
Angie
Had to close this one after only a few pages. I'd just finished reading a book that helped me get excited about reading again after a bit of a fiction funk, and then this one had language I wasn't interested in reading scattered throughout the first few pages. Not worth trudging through something like that so I called it quits. My husband said "That's what you get for judging a book by its cover." Touché. :)
Alisa
It's not fair that people leave books on my desk with cryptic little notes like, "Once you read the first 10 pages, we know you, you will be hooked." and the bastards were right.... so now I have to read this book after I'm done reading the other three I'm currently with..lol... Damn Old People!..lol

Excellent... this book pulled at the heart strings.. My peeps and I enjoyed it.
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Reading Between C...: Somebody Else's Daughter 3 3 Oct 20, 2013 10:44AM  
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Elizabeth Brundage holds an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received a James Michener Award. Before attending Iowa, she was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. She lives with her family in New York State.
More about Elizabeth Brundage...
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