“Other People’s Children” by Joanna Trollope was a really good read, and probably one of the most honest books I’ve read in a while. During this novel, Ms. Trollope tackles and wrestles with an issue that seems to permeate throughout society, no matter where you are residing. She takes the issues of separation, divorce, stepparents and the children that are left behind to pick up the pieces, and molds them into a workable art from which her readers(s) can learn from.
Ms. Trollope starts out with Josie, a woman who is getting married to another man who is not her son’s father. She left him, and, instead of coping with a man she didn’t really love for the sake of her son, she decides to deal with three children that were derived from a man she really loves. Another part to that story is the mother of these three children, Nadine. Eventually unable to care for her children, she has no choice but to let them go live with their father and stepmother, who they’ve fought tooth and nail every step of the way. At the same time, the father of the boy whose mother married another man finds the love of his life, but, because “his” daughter has an attachment to him that she just can’t break loose, and he will not deal with, he ends up losing her. And, he’s still dealing with his daughter and her attachment issues in the end.
The well-known myth of having a stepmother is also brought to light in this novel. The stepmother, especially in fairytales, is made out to be the villain, the ugly witch, and the lesser parent. She’s more often than not portrayed to be the evil one who is always trying to conquer the innocent; for example: Cinderella or Snow White. However, Josie and Elizabeth seem to break these myths by trying their best to make sure everyone gets along, and everyone carries their part.
“Other People’s Children” was a real delight to read…it held my attention all throughout.
I give it 4 stars.
P.S. “Other People’s Children” was provided on-loan from my mom, Loretta Rhodes.