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Fiction Psychological

The Child's Child

by (author) Barbara Vine

Doubleday Canada
Initial publish date
Jun 2014
Psychological, Domestic, Suspense
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2014
    List Price

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"In the hands of Vine . . . the book-within-a-book strategy evolves into something infinitely more intricate--a sinister, constantly shifting Rubik's Cube of motives, betrayals, and violence." --Entertainment Weekly
     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, owing to 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.
     An ingenious novel-within-a-novel, The Child's Child is about family, betrayal, and disgrace. A master of psychological suspense, 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.

About the author

Contributor Notes

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.

Editorial Reviews

   • "The Child's Child is a booklover's book on so many levels . . . the author's delightfully light touch ensures The Child's Child engages the reader throughout." --New York Journal of Books

Other titles by Barbara Vine