Saturday, January 8, 2011

Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage

(Photo taken from Goodreads)

Title:  Somebody Else's Daughter
Author:  Elizabeth Brundage
Publisher:  Viking
Language: English
Format:  Hardcover
Pages:  352 pages
ISBN-10:  0670019003
ISBN-13:  978-0670019007
Source:  Purchased, Booksale

A conversation between father and son:

Father:  Hey, what are you reading?

Son:  Hi Dad, I'm reading Somebody Else's Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage.  You were reading this a week ago, I think, and it got me curious.

F:  Is that where that girl Willa was adopted by a rich couple after her own parents decided they could not take care of her?  Is that the one?

S:  Yeah, the one where her biological father comes to teach in her school and becomes her teacher.  Really freaky and interesting right?

F:  I agree, and it does have a very interesting plot, if you ask me.  What do you think about it so far?

S:  I think it's got potential.  The characters were not just realistically crafted, we can read about their thoughts and see their views and opinions on different issues.  Their feelings, emotions, all their hang-ups - we see them without needing to resort to a first-person point of view.  And the scenes and setting are very graphic and detailed and I feel like I'm all part of it, Dad, I feel like I'm living inside the story and witnessing the story first-hand.  

F:  Well that's great, I'm glad you like what you're reading.

S:  I just have a little problem with the book though, because the flow is kind of really slow and I feel like it's getting to be a drag.  I would really love to see what happens to the whole story and get to know the ending but I'm almost in the middle and it's still boring.

F:  You know son, what I liked about that book is the fact that it slowly built momentum - it laid the groundwork for the whole premise and those dragging parts formed the foundation for an explosive final confrontation that will make all the characters - and the mysteries - come full circle.  You need to have patience, I assure you a reward will be in order by the time you reach the ending.

S:  OK Dad, anyway, I noticed that this book is filled with really serious and overwhelming issues, but I'm glad that it does not completely smother the story.  A perfect balance is stricken between shedding light on these issues and progressing through the story that you can relate both with each other and not get lost.

F:  Yes, I liked that about that book too.  You know, the story is really not entirely about Willa Golding's adoption or how she felt about it - although there's that - but more about the treatment of women in this modern era.  How feminism is now almost just a superficial thing because on principle, women have ' equal rights' as men, but basically, women are still treated the same as in the old times - with contempt.  They are still humiliated, belittled, and less appreciated or compensated than men. There's also a lot about other things like drug addiction; the pretensions, greed, and dysfunction that the upper class cling to; teenage angst; many other issues that get embroiled in this book it's a savage and interesting satire.

S:  It does have a lot going on Dad, and I really do hope I could get past the drag like you did.

F:  You will, I'm sure of it.  You know what?  I'm really proud of you son, you are turning out to be a very bright young man.  But tell me, reading the book and having this conversation with me, what do you think Somebody Else's Daughter is really all about?

S:  From what I've read so far, I think that every woman is somebody else's daughter, and before you do anything that might hurt them, think of your own daughter - in my case my future daughter - or how you want your own daughter to be treated.  Maybe that is why feminism is such a haunting presence in this book because all women are daughters of men and it is us men who are making light of such an issue when in our homes our daughters depend on us - to use a cliche - 'to make the world a better place for them.'

F:  That is a very sensitive observation coming from you.  Now I'm going outside now to fix that broken part of our fence, but I want you to remember from now on that answer you gave me.  I want you to remember that before you do something to upset your mother or hurt other women.  Practice what you preach son, that will take you a long way.  


  1. This is awesome. I have never seen a review/opinion be presented in this manner. VERY VERY clever and creative!

    ps. great review :)

  2. WOW brilliantly written! Very enjoyable :) Thanks.

  3. Thank you! Glad you liked it :D


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