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Other People's Children

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Gail and Jon Durbin moved to the Chicago suburbs to set up house as soon as Gail got pregnant. But then she miscarried—once, twice, three times. Determined to expand their family, the Durbins turn to adoption. When several adoptions fall through, Gail’s desire for a child overwhelms her.

Carli is a pregnant teenager from a blue-collar town nearby, with dreams of going to c
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: April 6th 2021 by Simon & Schuster
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  • Other People's Children by R.J. Hoffmann
    Other People's Children

    Release date: Apr 06, 2021
    A riveting debut novel about a couple whose dream of adopting a baby is shattered when the teenage mother reclaims her child.

    What makes a family?


    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 2521 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Feb 22 - Mar 06, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 4.06  · 
    Rating details
     ·  102 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Clap! Clap! Clap! Long whistle! I don’t have enough words at my vocabulary to express my adoration for this book!

    It’s magnificent MASTERPIECE! It made me think so hard ! It made me cry! It made me pissed off! It made my heart pound too fast! It made me ache!

    I adored all those multiple voices and I enjoyed to read their different narrations! Interestingly you can’t take sides at this book because all of the characters are right from their own perspective. Sometimes truth can be subjective and m
    Laura Solar
    Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I don’t have kids. I don’t want kids. I have never really wanted kids. But this book about how far parents will go for their children is an incredibly emotional read that even childfree readers will be moved by.
    Gail and Jon Durbin are a married couple who desperately want a child. They’ve suffered multiple miscarriages and have been sending out their adoption book to no success. Finally, 18 year old Carli picks them to adopt her baby. Carli has a terrible home life, with an abusive mother a
    Feb 16, 2021 marked it as to-be-review
    This is a Contemporary . I am lucky to receive an e-copy of this book from Netgalley, and I will post an honest review of this book as soon as I finish reading this book.
    Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    This was an exceptional book 📚! Dealing with the issues of miscarriage, adoption and the birth mother torn between putting a baby up for adoption and keeping the baby. Told from three points of view of three very people. The potential adoptive mother, the real mother and the maternal grandmother. A page turner I give this book 5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for the advance reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
    Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2020-net-galley

    Gail and Jon live a comfortable, well off life together except for the fact that they both want children and Gail has had three miscarriages and so they decide to adopt a newborn baby. Gail has a habit of writing lists of everything which will be part of this couple's undoing. They have the nursery room all decorated and Gail has been meeting with Paige who is handling their adoption. Paige is ethical and doesn't choose sides.

    Carli is used to meeting with G
    Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
    I really liked the storyline of this book. I found it to be very relatable as a mother, and also just from putting myself in the place of Gail. The subject matter is tricky and I’m not sure there are every any winners in a situation like this. A child being given up for adoption and a mother having the right to take that child back (for 6 months in some cases) has long been something I have thought about. I’m sure a lot of people will take sides in this book. I did. The ending was bittersweet. T ...more
    Kate Jordhamo
    Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    I'm not even sure where to begin with this review.

    Other People's Children is about what makes a family, the decisions we make to protect our families, and what it truly means to be a good mother. Gail and Jon, after suffering several miscarriages, begin the adoption process. Carli, a pregnant teenager, chooses them to be her child's parents. Carli's mother, Marla, however, has a different plan for her grandchild. The story mainly follows the three mothers as they navigate the adoption process an
    Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Other People’s Children by R.J. Hoffman is the story of Gail and Jon a couple who are desperate for a child. After suffering through several miscarriages they turn to adoption. Other’s People Children is also the story of Carli a pregnant teenager who has some very difficult choices to make for her baby and herself.

    This book did a great job of showing desperation and want. I felt for all of the characters (well almost all of them) and could see both sides of this problem and wanted Gail and Jon
    Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    This is a story that has been told before and yet I was fully absorbed in the book from the first line thru the last. It held so much truth...I felt the character’s pain...I believed their feelings and relationships. At one point I questioned whether something would really happen that way but concluded it could, things can spiral and the character’s actions made sense based on their backgrounds. As always I love a book where I learn something, anything, and this one includes tidbits on the makin ...more
    Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Ms. Hoffman’s Other People’s Children is a journey. It’s the past, present and future woven into a beautiful, heartbreaking story of the lengths one will go through to fulfill life long dreams.

    Gail and Jon desperately want to raise a family but have been unable to carry a baby to term. Carli is a pregnant teenager who knows she is not ready to raise a child on her own.

    The story follows the lives of Gail, Jon, Carli and Paige, the adoption agency representative. It shows the complexities of doi
    Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I can not even begin to thank Simon & Schuster and also #NetGalley for the ARC.
    Gail and her husband are desperate to have a child. Gail has had a number of miscarriages and each one is more painful than the last ( I can relate). They decide to adopt and finally find a "mother" who will choose them to raise her baby.

    This book gave a lot of insight to not just the parents adopting but also the Mother who is giving up her child. It also deals with what happens afterwards. It is an emotional book
    Genevieve Trono
    Oct 06, 2020 marked it as to-read
    This book was quite the rollercoaster ride! I really enjoyed the in-depth look at the complications of adoption, as well as seeing the situation from both sides of the story. This book follows a young couple who after years of infertility and loss, finally have an birth mother who has selected them to raise her baby.

    When feelings change and relationships are tested after the baby arrives, the book takes an unexpected turn I didn’t see coming. I especially love how this book ends! While I enjoye
    Joanne W
    Feb 13, 2021 rated it liked it
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Parker J
    Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This was kind of a wild ride, and I loved it.
    Catherine Faulkenburg
    Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I tore through this book and I highly recommend. This is a book that will make you think. The three main characters are very empathetic.
    Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Wow! This book was all sorts of emotional and really took me on a wild ride. Through my life I have always been very interested in adoption and I think this book discussed a lot of important aspects that aren’t often overlooked. Gail is very organized and regimented and uses list-making as a way to calm down, so she was extremely prepared to raise a child. Jon was not as researched as Gail, but he was a creative guy that was terrified of messing up a child as he had a rough childhood, himself. G ...more
    Karen Axnick
    Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This is a heart-wrenching novel. In some ways it is a modern day version of King Solomon’s judgement: two women committed to being the mother of one child. What is the right course of action?

    Gail and Jon, a middle class couple with successful careers, have suffered the dashed hopes of parenthood through three miscarriages. Jon carries a significant amount of emotional baggage due to his parents’ abandonment which leaves him terrified of his own inadequacies to be a good father. Gail also has iss
    Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: giveaways
    I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway.

    The story starts off more or less straightforwardly, with Gail and Jon, a married couple who have struggled to conceive a child, finally getting matched with an expectant 18-year-old named Carli to adopt her baby. But then, after taking the baby home with them, Carli's mother Marla insists that Carli take the baby back, and so to avoid getting kicked out of the house by her deadbeat mother, Carli reclaims the child. But Gail and Jon
    Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: arc, fiction, family
    The story of a couple struggling with infertility who arrange to adopt a young woman’s baby, only to have her choose to reclaim the child a week later. The lengths they go to, and the personal struggles each character has faced in their past, create a multifaceted & nuanced look at the longing for family, connection, and to be understood.

    This title had several themes that resonated with me - motherhood, fertility, parenting, adoption. Reading the back stories of the characters made my heart ache
    Kendra Rothermel
    Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Gail and Jon want to start a family. After two heartbreaking losses, they turn to adoption as an avenue to become a family. Carli is a young woman who, after finding herself pregnant unexpectedly, turns to adoption as a way to continue her hard work to a better life for herself. After meeting Gail and Jon, Carli decides her daughter would best fit with their family. Gail and Jon become a family of 3 with sweet Maya and their once empty home and marriage becomes full of life. However, Carli’s mom ...more
    Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Other People’s Children is heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking. This is the story of a couple whose marriage has survived infertility and multiple miscarriages. It’s the story of a social worker, helping others as she was once helped. And it’s also the story of a woman who longs to be a grandmother so she can have a second chance to be a good parent. Linking all of them is a pregnant teenager, already beaten down by poverty and abuse. Heartbreaking.

    Jon and Gail Durbin have successful careers and a
    3.5 stars
    The sadness a couple feels when they are unable to have a child of their own is portrayed in this story. Gail has had a number of miscarriages and she and her husband, Jon, are devastated. They decide to go the route of adoption, and when their qualifications are accepted by a teenage girl, Carli, it sets in motion a series of events that bring consequences that probably were somewhat evident.

    As we learn more of Cali, we find her living with her foul mouthed mother, Marla, who certainly
    Jennifer Shanahan
    Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: arc-giveaways
    I really enjoyed this intensely emotional story of Jon and Gail Durbin, a couple in their thirties who live in the Western suburbs of Chicago. Gail has had several miscarriages and the couple really wants a baby so they plan to adopt. Eventually a young pregnant girl, Carli, chooses them as the future parents of her baby girl. Carli lives with her mom and sister as she struggles with not only being and unwed pregnant teenager, but also living pay check to pay check, depending on her not-so-nice ...more
    Sam Santy
    Feb 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
    After several years together, Gail and Jon make the decision to move to the suburbs and begin to build their family. After multiple lost pregnancies, they turn their focus on adoption. Carli, a teenage girl from a nearby town, finds herself single and pregnant as she prepares for her first year at the local community college. The way their lives intertwine is something none of them could have possibly imagined.

    RJ Hoffman writes a captivating story about the lengths that people are willing to g
    Dec 05, 2020 rated it liked it
    What if, after 3 miscarriages and numerous adoption attempts, a gorgeous baby girl is placed with you and quickly becomes your world? What if you were a scared teen from an unstable family life who thought she was making the right choice to place her baby with someone else, and got second thoughts? The lives of Gail+Jon and Carli+Marla collide in ‘Other People’s Children’, exploring these questions.

    I thought the topic was interesting and ran at a good pace, and I felt that I could really connec
    Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    I wish to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Publishers for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book. I have voluntarily read and reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Wow! What a powerful story this is! It is told from both sides of the most difficult decision a young mother could be faced with making. When Gail and Jon decide to adopt a baby they meet a pregnant teenage girl who is trying to find the best parents she can for her soon-to-be child. Carli’s life is one of d
    Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    5 star read! I came into this book with little expectation since I haven't heard anything about this new book yet. I was intrigued by the description of this novel since it dealt with a young teen who decides to reclaim her baby after giving it up for adoption. Gail and Jon Durbin adopt baby Maya after 3 miscarriages and begin their new lives as a family. But then Maya's biological teenage mother, Carlie, decides to reclaim her back. I really liked Gail and Jon's characters, they so relateable a ...more
    Hailey Goodwin
    Feb 24, 2021 rated it liked it

    Jon and Gail have been dreaming of starting their family for years. After multiple miscarriages and several failed adoptions they finally get their chance until the birth mom decides to reclaim her baby.

    Other People’s Children had a strong hold on my heart strings. I felt the emotions that Jon and Gail were feeling every step of the way and unlike the social worker, Paige, I began to hold out hope for the Durbins. I took sides... but then everything changed. The last 50% did not mesh with the e
    Jan 20, 2021 rated it liked it
    Shelves: fiction
    Oh my goodness, so many layers this painful and brutal book. Gail and her husband have been struggling with infertility issues and so desperately want a baby. As a newish mama, I know the deep desire to have a baby, and the pure joy that a baby of your own brings. This is all Gail wants, and she does everything she can (including making a zillion lists) to get this. Finally, they find a child to adopt, and while she does not connect with Carli, the teen mother, they bring the baby home and have ...more
    Kaitlin Barnes
    Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    TW for this book: miscarriage, infertility

    Whew! I was immediately intrigued by the plot of this book, and it does not disappoint. This book focuses on the Durbins, a couple who can't conceive a child, and Carli, the teenage mother who lets the Durbins adopt her baby. But then Carli changes her mind, and the Durbins are faced with an impossible choice. Should they return the baby that they
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    R.J. Hoffmann was born and raised in St. Louis and received an MFA in fiction from Columbia College Chicago. Hoffmann’s writing has appeared in Barely South Review, The Sun, Harpur Palate, The Roanoke Review, Booth, The Baltimore Review, and Lunch Ticket. Hoffmann is the winner of the Madison Review’s 2018 Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction and a finalist for the Missouri Review’s 2019 Jeffrey E. Smi ...more

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