Someone Else's Childby Nancy Woodruff
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When fifteen-year-old Matt moves from Oregon to Connecticut, he encounters a closed social circuit. Bad goes to worse when he is the driver in a car crash that leaves two girls dead. When a mother reaches out to him, she finds herself, like Matt, vilified. Here is a deeply moving story of guilt and forgiveness, despair and hope, and the intricacies of love and responsibility.
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- 6.35(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.92(d)
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Prologue If this were the small town Jennie had always imagined existed somewhere in the Midwest, she might have heard about the crash at the hospital that very night. Whispers of horror and shock would have passed through the corridors -- "all young kids, such a heartbreaker," "the Linders girl," "Kevin Cleary's daughter," "that new boy, family came from out west." The staff would have hurried to attend, the whole place holding its breath until they knew whether the girl they'd brought in with a heartbeat was going to make it or not.
It seemed to Jennie that that's how it should be -- a car accident calling on everyone in the town to help, all collectively hoping or praying, as beliefs allowed, waiting and knowing and mourning. But this wasn't a small town. It had been once, and some of the older residents remembered it as such, though it had grown into a suburb -- 68,000 at last census, a place where people mostly got the news from TV or the morning paper, not from one another. And geographically, it was huge, twice as big as the Manhattan island where so many of its residents made their living. The town's fifty square miles began at the ocean and stretched inland, from beachfront houses through the offices and boutiques of the town center, past older neighborhoods of colonials and capes and tudors out to backcountry acreage, old stone or clapboard houses with their own streams or ponds or studios, bordering nature preserves, horse farms, forests. That was where it happened -- out there on the back roads, where there weren't even road signs because the town council insisted they would mar the beauty of the landscape. There were miles and milesof roads back there. Curvy. Heavily shaded. At night, pitch dark. Jennie had lived in this town all her life but wasn't able to picture the stretch of road where it happened until she actually drove past.
She wondered later if it would have truly made a difference, knowing about the accident that night, instead of the next morning. Her proximity was to make her breathless later, for Jennie was on the fourth-floor maternity ward when they brought them into the emergency room, a fifteen-year-old boy and two girls, each just sixteen. That's when the large suburb revealed its intimacies, created by children carrying news and goodwill across lawns and streets. Jennie knew all three of the teenagers who had been in the car: Rachel and Erica were her daughter's best friends, and Matt was the boy it seemed they had all begun to love.
Copyright © 2000 by Nancy Woodruff
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Meet the Author
Nancy Woodruff, born and raised in Chicago, received an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Henfield Prize/Transatlantic Review Award. She has taught at Columbia University, the State University of New York at Purchase, and Richmond College in London, where she now lives.
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Someone Else's Child, takes you into the lives of Jenny Breeze, her husband Chris, their daughter Tara, Taras' two best friends Rachel Clearly, and Erica Linders. Everything goes fine until a tragedy hits a community in Sheldrake, Connecticut. Matt Fallon, is a fifteen year old kid, who is a newcomer to the Sheldrake community. Just when things begin to look up for Matt, he gets involved in a drunk driving crash that kills Erica and Rachel. What touched a soft spot in my heart, was when Jenny took Matt under her wing by offering him an office job. Very few people would have the courage to do what Jenny did. In my opinion, this book should be made into a movie.