The Child's Child

The Child's Child

by Barbara Vine, Ruth Rendell
3.1 9


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The Child's Child by Barbara Vine, Ruth Rendell


From three-time Edgar Award–winning mystery writer Ruth Rendell, writing here under her Barbara Vine pseudonym, an ingenious novel-within-a-novel about brothers and sisters and the violence lurking behind our society’s taboos.

When their grandmother dies, Grace and Andrew Easton inherit her sprawling, book-filled London home, Dinmont House. Rather than sell it, the adult siblings move in together, splitting the numerous bedrooms and studies. The arrangement is unusual, but ideal for the affectionate pair—until the day Andrew brings home a new boyfriend. A devilishly handsome novelist, James Derain resembles Cary Grant, but his strident comments about Grace’s doctoral thesis soon puncture the house’s idyllic atmosphere. When he and Andrew witness their friend’s murder outside a London nightclub, James begins to unravel, and what happens next will change the lives of everyone in the house. Just as turmoil sets in at Dinmont House, Grace escapes into reading a manuscript—a long-lost novel from 1951 called The Child’s Child—never published because of its frank depictions of an unwed mother and a homosexual relationship. The book is the story of two siblings born a few years after World War One. This brother and sister, John and Maud, mirror the present-day Andrew and Grace: a homosexual brother and a sister carrying an illegitimate child. Acts of violence and sex will reverberate through their stories.

The Child’s Child is an enormously clever, brilliantly constructed novel-within-a-novel about family, betrayal, and disgrace. A master of psychological suspense, Ruth Rendell, in her newest work under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, takes us where violence and social taboos collide. She shows how society’s treatment of those it once considered undesirable has changed—and how sometimes it hasn’t.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451694895
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 12/04/2012
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.36(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

Ruth Rendell, writing here as Barbara Vine, has won three Edgar Awards, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as four Gold Daggers and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writers’ Association. Her remarkable career has spanned more than forty years, with more than sixty books published. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.

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The Child's Child 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And the previous reviewer is an idiot. Why review a book by a writer you supposedly stopped reading long ago? And if you are put off by subtle psychological portraiture, then Rendell (who sometimes writes as Barbara Vine) certainly isn't for you. You'd be better served by James Patterson or whatever other junk franchise is sitting on the grocery store shelves this week. In fact, you might be better served by putting down books entirely and watching hours-long marathons of Law and Order or Two and a Half Men, since that seems more your speed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ann44MN More than 1 year ago
I love Barbara Vine/Ruth Rendall, but this book went nowhere. I kept expecting the two stories to be connected in some interesting way at the end but it did not happen. They were simply two stories of a brother and sister, and the brothers' gay lovers. None of the characters had any dedeeming qualities except perhaps Andrew but we never heard his point of view. I expected much more from Barbara Vine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mickeymarie More than 1 year ago
I gave up on page 60. I was so bored reading endless pages of Grace talking about her thesis. I get that her life started to mirror her topic but by that point I just didn't care.
Perdita9 More than 1 year ago
I have got to stop paying attention to "Entertainment Weekly" book reviews. "The Child's Child" was well-written but horrible. Not a single likable character resides within its pages. Half the book is devoted to the story of Grace, an academic who lives in her grandmother's mansion with her gay brother, Andrew. Andrew has a new lover, James, who's a bipolar nut bag. Grace doesn't like James yet sleeps with him to make him feel better when he's depressed over a friend's murder. Neither of these people is mature enough to think about protection and Grace winds up pregnant. Andrew and James move out, leaving Grace on her own. To distract herself, Grace works on her thesis which includes an unpublished book called "The Child's Child" about a 15 year old girl, Maud, who gets knocked up. Her gay brother, John, takes her to a new town where they pose as man and wife. John is in love with Bertie, a skanky sociopath who later kills John. Maud then suffers a nervous breakdown, inherits a bunch of money and treats everyone around her horribly. Every character in this book shows a stubborn obliviousness when it comes to saying and doing terrible things to each other. There wasn't a single joke or moment of happiness in this book. I'm sorry I wasted my time on this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this author hate this book its awesome
MonteverdiPY More than 1 year ago
I stopped reading this author years ago when I ran out of patience and interest in the psychological meanderings of various perverted individuals.I simply don't find them interesting and I'm always amazed at how long the other characters put up with them before they work out how depraved they are.