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Somebody Else's Daughter

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,001 Ratings  ·  437 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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Nov 20, 2008 1morechapter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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.
Oct 07, 2008 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sep 14, 2008 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too graphic for my taste, in a not-so-tasteful way.
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 just wasn't worth torturing myself for ...more
Jul 10, 2008 Krysia rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Dec 16, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Vannessa Anderson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Jul 19, 2009 Nancy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 03, 2010 Jeni rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 27, 2013 Debbie rated it liked it
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
Jul 18, 2011 Carrie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 28, 2008 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...
Jul 28, 2008 Brianne rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Dec 21, 2008 Sasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great book! read it with my book club - ferocious discussions followed!
Shelby Castleberry
To many stories intwined together... it all ended on one page.
Apr 27, 2010 Mari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
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
Apr 04, 2013 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 18, 2013 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 07, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Aug 16, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 16, 2016 Noel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After devouring Elizabeth Brundage 19s The Doctor 19s Wife and loving every minute of it, I was quite eager to get my hands on her second novel, Somebody Else 19s Daughter. I secured a copy from the library, read it, and can now say I have never been so disappointed! For me, this book had a lot of flaws and I am really saddened by this, as I was expecting quite a bit more since I found The Doctor 19s Wife to be really exquisite.

I want to summarize the basic plot of this novel, but that in and of
Jun 19, 2015 Debbi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was a good read. The characters were developed adequately, but I had a hard time keeping all the names straight.

"A psychological thriller of secrets, dark motives, and an adoption buried in the past

At the center of Elizabeth Brundage's new novel lies an adoption under stressed and tragic circumstances. Willa, brought up in elegant prosperity, is now a student at the prestigious Pioneer School. But her biological father, a failing writer and former drug addict, can't live with himself withou
Feb 03, 2016 Flor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story is about two different fathers, both adoptive and biological. The biological father had to give up his daughter for adoption because he was a drug addict. Later to change and become her professor at Pioneer the high school that his biological daughter attends. The adoptive father tries hard to give Willa Golding what she deserves and he tries to be the best father she could have; a women named Claire Squire moves back to the town she left behind. Due to her father’s sudden death, she d ...more
Jul 24, 2016 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading this book. Lots of good characters, set in the Berkshires in small towns familiar to me, so that makes the book even better for me. The beginning draws you in...drug addicts driving cross country to give their baby daughter up for adoption to a young couple in the Berkshires. Mother has AIDS and dies in the couples driveway after having given up her daughter. Father writes a letter to the baby, gives it to the adoptive mother with instructions to have the daughter read it ...more
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Reading Between C...: Somebody Else's Daughter 3 3 Oct 20, 2013 10:44AM  
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ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE graduated from Hampshire College, attended the NYU film school, was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and received an MFA as well as a James Michener Award from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has taught at Skidmore College, Bard's Simon's Rock College, Trinity College, the University of Hartford, and the Rochester Institute of T ...more
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