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Download The Child's Child: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Childs Child: A Novel, by Barbara Vine Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (686 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Vine Narrator: Sarah Coomes Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In the hands of Vine, otherwise known as Ruth Rendell, 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

  • “Vine vividly conjures the high price paid by social outcasts, even in our own supposedly enlightened age.”


  • “A study of taboos of the past and the growing tolerance of the present—except when open-mindedness is absent—The Child’s Child encompasses darkness and light—and simultaneously offers diverting fiction with thought-provoking but never preachy purpose.”

    Richmond Times Dispatch

  • “Just a cracking good read.”

    Charlotte Observer

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Robin | 2/19/2014

    " A quick read, and although generally I like the novella within a novel approach, I found this combo somewhat annoying. I can't tell you more without giving away too much, but I expected there to be more symmetry between the two tales than I was able to discern. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kathy | 2/17/2014

    " Really two and a half stars, but I rounded up. A story within a story. A sister sharing a house with a homosexual brother becomes pregnant by the brother's lover and then reads a story about an unwed sister in a pretend marriage to a homosexual brother some 70-some years earlier. The story within the story was fairly engaging, but the two stories didn't ever really come together for me. Although the book led me to believe that the two stories would meld, the unwed sister in the earlier book was unlikeable with little insight or sympathy for her brother. Ended abruptly and the main story was totally unsatisfactory. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Linnet | 2/14/2014

    " The bulk of the book is The Child's Child which has been given to Grace to read. Grace is pregnant by her brother's lover. The book that she reads is about a 15 year old girl who becomes pregnant (in 1937) and whose homosexual brother moves with her to another town and they pose as a married couple and raise the little girl as their own. The book is an unusual vehicle by which to compare the way cultural attitudes towards homosexuality and single parenthood have changed over 80 years or so. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Pmcdnld2 | 1/26/2014

    " Very interesting book within a book-both dealing with unwed mothers and homosexual men-in the 1940's and the present. "

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