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Brother & Sister


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Her insightful, bestselling novel about who we are and where we come from.

About the Author

Joanna Trollope is the author of eagerly awaited and sparklingly readable novels often centred around the domestic nuaunces and dilemmas of life in present-day England. She has also written a number of historical novels and Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.


As she has done adroitly in her previous novels (Marrying the Mistress, etc.), Trollope explores the unforeseen consequences of life-altering decisions, here telling the story of two adult adoptees who set out to find the mothers who gave them away. Nathalie and David were adopted as babies by a warm and loving couple, the Dexters, and they enjoyed happy childhoods. Their sibling bond continues to be unusually strong, and they still share a mutual pretense that being adopted gave them a psychic freedom impossible in a conventional family. Now David is married with three young children and a thriving gardening business. When Nathalie-living with artistic designer Steve and mother to five-year-old Polly-admits to herself that her lack of family history is an open wound, she convinces David that they both should trace down their biological mothers. Trollope's gifts for storytelling and sensitive characterization are again in evidence, as the siblings' search produces unsettling ramifications for their adoptive parents, their romantic partners and their children. The plot becomes somewhat formulaic when Trollope switches focus to the two birth mothers. One is a successful businesswoman who has put her past behind her, married and mothered two sons; the other, a passive waif, has lived all these years with constant heartache. After meeting their birth mothers for the first time, Nathalie and David each feel great relief and great sadness. Meanwhile, their relationships with their loved ones have changed, perhaps irrevocably. One of Trollope's strengths as a novelist is her empathy for her flawed characters and her recognition that conventional happy endings are not true to life. Although Nathalie and David unexpectedly open a Pandora's box of complications, the novel reaffirms the eternal truth that no one lives in a vacuum. 8-city author tour. (Apr. 24) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Born to two different mothers but adopted together and raised as brother and sister, David and Nathalie are fiercely close. Even their spouses acknowledge their unique bond, forged by the belief that they are special-"chosen" by each other, though born to different parents. They aren't much concerned about the circumstances of their births until the girlfriend of David's colleague asks them to contact their birth mothers as part of her thesis research. Their decision to do so profoundly affects their lives and the lives of those close to them. When their mothers, who have gone on to have families, finally acknowledge their youthful indiscretions and meet David and Nathalie as adults, it sets off a ripple effect that nearly destroys all the families involved. Once again, Trollope (Girl from the South; Marrying the Mistress) explores the reactions of ordinary people to extraordinary circumstances with warmth, intelligence, and humanity. Her characters compel the reader to care about their relationships and the consequences of their decisions. The author is a master storyteller, a credit indeed to her famous literary ancestor, Anthony Trollope. Highly recommended.-Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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 *

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