Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Child's Child by Barbara Vine

The Child's Child
by Barbara Vine

Trade Paperback, 272 pages

Barbara Vine (a nom de plume of Ruth Rendell for her darker books) presents the modern-day story of a young brother and sister who have inherited their grandmother's estate in London, far too large for the two of them but so filled with books and memories that they decide to keep it and move in together.

Grace is working on her thesis about single motherhood in historical novels, but her quiet comfort is jeopardized when her brother's handsome boyfriend James moves into the home.

Throwing herself deeper into her work, she becomes immersed in a previously unpublished novel, The Child's Child, that deals with the stigma of unwed motherhood and homosexuality. 

The Child's Child is a book within a book, and both narratives begin to resemble each other as the book explores man's arbitrary decisions about morality, what has change and what hasn't, and the human race's penchant for cruelty and, sometimes, redemption.

BARBARA VINE is a pseudonym for Ruth Rendell, whose numerous awards include three Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from Britain's Crime Writer's Association and three Edgars, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.