The Child's Child

  • by Barbara Vine
  • Narrated by Sarah Coomes
  • 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.
The Child’s Child is an enormously clever, brilliantly constructed novel-within-a-novel about family, betrayal, and disgrace. A master of psychological suspense, Ruth Rendell, in her newest work under the pseudonym 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I've read and loved everything by Ruth Rendell AND by her as Barbara Vine. Especially loved her as Barbara Vine. But this book is just a mess. Two stories are told, one with barely any plot at all, the other (within the first story but at length) with a sort of a plot and three of the most unpleasant, uninteresting characters in all of fiction. There's no rhyme or reason here. At all. When the music came up at the "end" my mouth dropped open and I said, aloud, "You've gotta be kidding." I don't know what's happened, here, but it's depressing and really annoying. I did listen all the way through, tho. I mean, it is Ruth Rendell (or it's supposed to be) and I kept hoping that at some point it would all make sense. It didn't. It doesn't.
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- Yennta

Loved it until the ending....

What made the experience of listening to The Child's Child the most enjoyable?

Wonderful voices by Coomes.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child's Child?

Switching to past story

Which scene was your favorite?

Maude's daughter's announcement.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

Wish the ending had been a bit less ambiguous; wanted to really know what happened to the main character.

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- Proud Kentuckian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-04-2012
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio