Somebody Else's Daughter

By Elizabeth Brundage
(Plume Books, Paperback, 9780452295377, 341pp.)

Publication Date: April 2009

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Description
A taut, complex psychological thriller from the author of "The Doctor's Wife"
Like "The Doctor's Wife" - which "The Boston Globe" called "a compelling read"-"Somebody Else's Daughter" is a literary page-turner peopled with fascinating and disturbing characters. In the idyllic Berkshires, at the prestigious Pioneer School, there are dark secrets that threaten to come to light. Willa Golding, a student, has been brought up by her adoptive parents in elegant prosperity, but they have fled a mysterious and shameful past. Her biological father, a failing writer and former drug addict, needs to see the daughter he abandoned, and so he gains a teaching position at the school. A feminist sculptor initiates a reckless affair, the Pioneer students live in a world to which adults turn a blind eye, and the headmaster's wife is busy keeping her husband's current indiscretions well hidden. Building to a breathtaking collision between two fathers-biological and adoptive, past and present- "Somebody Else's Daughter" is both a suspenseful thriller and a probing study of richly conflicted characters in emotional turmoil.



About the Author
Elizabeth Brundage is the author of "The Doctoras Wife" and holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writersa Workshop, where she received a James A. Michener Fellowship. Before attending Iowa, she was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Her short fiction has been published in the "Greensboro Review, Witness magazine," and "New Letters,"


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Many of the book's characters mirror each other—Jack vs. Joe as unfaithful husbands; Joe and Claire, who both use sex as a commodity; Pearl and Willa, the orphaned daughters; Maggie and Candace, the wronged wives. Why does the author choose to use this device? What do we learn about the characters by comparing and contrasting their similarities and differences?

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