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Somebody Else's Daughter    by Elizabeth Brundage order for
Somebody Else's Daughter
by Elizabeth Brundage
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2009 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Elizabeth Brundage's Somebody Else's Daughter is hailed as a psychological thriller. I found it, however, to be more a tale of devastation that stems from hidden secrets.

When still a young man, Nate Gallagher, strung out on drugs and with a girlfriend dying of AIDS, gives his baby daughter Willa up for adoption to the wealthy Goldings, who live in the Berkshires. Years later, Nate is clean and a respectable writing teacher. Desperate to see his daughter, he takes a job at Pioneer, a prep school in the Berkshires. It turns out that Nate is not the only one living in the Berkshires with a secret, and that someone's secret could spell ruin for not just themselves, but those around them as well.

The premise of Somebody Else's Daughter could make a wonderful psychological thriller, but the plot lumbers along too much at the beginning to create that rollercoaster ride needed to get the reader hooked. Brundage excels at character development, but unfortunately, she develops too many characters at once, and the story's hopping from character to character further slows the pace. Also, while many of the characters are extremely well-developed, Brundage still manages to distance them from the reader.

The last quarter of Somebody Else's Daughter is a taut psychological thriller. However, Elizabeth Brundage takes too long to get there to make it an enjoyable read from page one.

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