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Someone Else's Child
     

Someone Else's Child

5.0 2
by 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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is an excellent first novel, but its emotional topic the death of two teens may affect its appeal. Jennie Breeze is 34, married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of 16-year-old Tara and newborn Alison. The night of the birth, Tara s two best girlfriends are killed in a one-car accident; on a normal Friday, Tara would have been with them. The driver, Matt Fallon, an all-around good kid new to this wealthy Connecticut suburb, is ostracized by all but his loving family. Wanting to reach out to him, Jennie hires him for summer work at her home-based high school reunion business. Her act of kindness becomes a lifeline for Matt, and he, in turn, provides the support and friendship she needs with a busy husband, new baby, and a grieving teenage daughter. Woodruff s fine novel explores the complexities of friendship and parenting while authentically conveying the importance of giving and receiving love. It also powerfully portrays the courage required to embrace life after a mistake. For most fiction collections. Rebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Ruth Coughlin
Nancy Woodruff's impressive first novel explores the aftermath of a car crash in an affluent and peaceful Connecticut suburb... Woodruff successfully takes on big themes -- love, guilt, the power of redemption -- and despite a predictable plot turn toward the end, Someone Else's Child is never less than engaging.
New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684865072
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
07/05/2000
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.92(d)

Read an Excerpt

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

What People are Saying About This

Renee Smith
Nancy Woodruff's stunning literary debut, Someone Else's Child, is poignant and filled with insights and wit about two of life's most challenging times: adolescence and motherhood. It's compelling enough to read in one sitting.

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 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.