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Brother & Sister Paperback – 29 Jan 2005

34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; New Ed edition (29 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552771732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552771733
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanna Trollope has written several highly-acclaimed contemporary novels: The Choir, A Village Affair, A Passionate Man, The Rector's Wife, The Men and the Girls, A Spanish Lover, The Best of Friends, Next of Kin, Other People's Children, Marrying the Mistress, Girl from the South and Friday Nights. Other People's Children has been shown on BBC television as a major drama serial. Under the name of Caroline Harvey she writes romantic historical novels. She has also written a study of women in the British Empire, Britannia's Daughters. Joanna was born in Gloucestershire and lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.

Product Description

Review

"Pacy, absorbing and compassionate" (Daily Mail)

"Brilliantly perceptive" (Daily Telegraph)

"An important novel" (Evening Standard)

"Her prodigious flair for illuminating emotional situations guarantees the appeal of Trollope's work... immediate and engrossing" (The Good Book Guide)

"Deliciously readable" (The Times)

Review

'Pacy, absorbing and compassionate.' (The Daily Mail)

'Brilliantly perceptive.' (The Daily Telegraph)

'An important novel.' (Evening Standard)

'Her prodigious flair for illuminating emotional situations guarantees the appeal of Trollope's work ... immediate and engrossing.' (The Good Book Guide) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By SueBee on 9 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
I have read all Joanna Trollope's books and must admit I prefer her earlier ones. This one has a good story premise (adopted siblings look for their real mothers) but what lets it down is the dialogue. People just don't talk to each other like that - in the stilted, soul-searching, pseudo psychologist style she uses. Also the characters do not seem as developed as in her earlier works. For instance, we are never told what Natalie (female main character) has done for work or trained for so you cannot 'draw' her character in your mind as you might in other circumstances - did she go straight from home to husband? Other minor roles are undeveloped too and all talk in this curious middle England vocabulary as used by a mid 1950's BBC newsreader!. Disappointing but I felt compelled to finish it nonetheless.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Janie U VINE VOICE on 12 July 2007
Format: Paperback
I have read all of Joanna Trollope's books and from being really great they are gradually getting boring and predictable. It uses the same formula for writing a book which has been used over and over again.
Admittedly I was pulled into the story from the first page and stuck with the book until the end but I thought that this subject matter has been done too many times and Joanne Trollope doesn't seem to be able to find anything new in it. She seems to be trying to be edgy by using a difficult subject but, in doing that, she moves away to far from the aga sagas that she is good at writing without managing to tackle the adoption issue.
There was some very sloppy parts to the book, for example when the 2 mothers are introduced within a couple of pages of each other - they are complete extremes of people with completely extreme reasons for having their adoptions - hhmm!!
The ending of the book was also too dramatic and seemed to destroy any sensitivity it had achieved in the first half.
It is not an awful book but I would recommend a new reader to Joanna Trollope starts with her earlier books - let's hope the next one is better!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 17 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
In this tension-filled domestic drama, Joanna Trollope shows how the adoption of two children, now adults, have affected all the families involved--the birth mothers and their later families, the adoptive parents and grandparents, and the adoptees themselves, their spouses, and their children. Nathalie, the partner of Steve Ross and mother of their child, has always considered it an advantage to be adopted, to be "chosen," but when her young daughter Polly needs surgery for a condition that may be inherited, her own adoption becomes an issue for her. Asking "What else don't I know about where Polly's come from?" she suddenly comes to a life-changing realization: "I want to be like people who know where they come from." She and her brother David decide to search for their birth mothers.
The rippling effects of the decision to search for birth mothers dominate this carefully constructed novel. Nathalie's adoptive mother, not surprisingly, is devastated that both of "her" children need to find "other" mothers. The birth mothers, by turn, have created new lives of their own, each dealing with her "lost" child in her own way. Nathalie's husband, David's wife, and their children are also affected, not least by the fact that Nathalie and David choose to share their feelings with each other, rather than with their spouses. As the ripple effects continue, other characters, even including employees, are drawn into the emotional vortex, and unexpected complications send the action in surprising directions with new twists and turns.
Trollope reveals the inner lives of her characters through beautifully realized dialogue, and she pays particular attention to the details of personality and domestic relationships.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Specialknamaste on 14 April 2008
Format: Paperback
I was interested to read this because my brother is adopted and went through his own journey with this...but this book simply reeks. Why did I even finish it, I can't answer. I didn't care about the characters at all, their reactions are completely unrealistic and they are all portrayed in different shades of immature. I was hoping to learn something but was disappointed. Don't waste your time on this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hel S on 13 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Like others have said, the characters were so under-developed in this book that they didn't come across as real, complete people. The book was a peculiar read, some parts of it were eminently readable yet others were like wading through sludge. I cringed at the dialogue of the children especially.

One of the children has a medical problem which facilitates her mother's search for her blood mother. It is hinted that the child's father has a similar problem but other than two rather clunky references this is not pursued in any way at all, so it reads like a very much planned plot point which, once its duty is done, can be discarded.

The two birth mothers themselves were so opposite that they seemed like caracatures instead of people. There was effort made to paint them as real but I think because the author made them so very extreme, they couldn't help but come across as unrealistic also.

I thought the ending, especially David's, to be totally bizarre. I can see that now he and his sister have faced up to their past that they might not be as needful of each other as they once were, but again I think the failing is that the characters were so poorly drawn that their actions can't make sense because we just don't know who they are.

This is not a book for anyone new to Trollope. It was an okay read, but my mind wasn't on it, and I have no particular feelings one way or another.
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