This was my first encounter with Joanna Trollope, and I was thoroughly engaged. There are no peripheral characters. Each person has a dramatic journey, captured by Trollpe economically in well chosen scenarios.
The structure was a clever one: Natalie and David, with different birth mothers are adopted into the same family, each now feels something is missing in their lives, and they are each closer to each other than they are to their partners. Jealousy and fear of loss entwine, leaving everyone unsettled.
The birth mothers' stories are poignant and compelling, as is the struggle and growth of Lynne, the adoptive mother. Natalie's partner and David's wife feel understandably left out of their search, but struggle with their own issues of identity, intimacy and control.
For me, this novel provides an argument for open adoption, at least giving the children a narrative of their own beginnings, and the birth parents some information about the progress of their children if they wish it, or at best a completely open situation where everyone stays, to some extent, a part of each other's lives. But then, that wouldn't make a very interesting novel.
adopted brother and sister search for their birth mothers good story
This was certainly a fast read. In general, I enjoyed it - this topic of adoption was interesting, but it wasn't really what I expected. I think I was hoping it would be a bit more like a Jodi Picoult book and it wasn't. The characters, I think, were what was lacking - they weren't entirely fleshed out and the P.O.V.s, particularly of the children were weak. The writing was a little weak too - but that was probably more to do with the fact that I have been reading so much Anne Rice lately and this author's writing was just so... English. Usually, I enjoy English voices, but, I don't know, overall this book seemed average at best. I would probably not have purchased other books of hers, but I got a few at the dollar racks all at the same time...