Author: R.J. Hoffmann

Narrators: Michael David Axtell, Amanda Dolan, Madeleine Maby, Marni Penning, Tara Sands, Pete Simonelli

Publication Date: April 6, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Description

A riveting debut novel about a couple whose dream of adopting a baby is shattered when the teenage mother reclaims her child.

What makes a family?

Gail and Jon Durbin moved to the Chicago suburbs to set up house as soon as Gail got pregnant. But then she miscarried—once, twice, three times. Determined to expand their family, the Durbins turn to adoption. When several adoptions fall through, Gail’s desire for a child overwhelms her.

Carli is a pregnant teenager from a blue-collar town nearby, with dreams of going to college and getting out of her mother’s home. When she makes the gut-wrenching decision to give her baby up for adoption, she chooses the Durbins. But Carli’s mother, Marla, has other plans for her grandbaby.

In Other People’s Children, three mothers make excruciating choices to protect their families and their dreams—choices that put them at decided odds against one another. You will root for each one of them and wonder just how far you’d go in the same situation. This riveting debut is a thoughtful exploration of love and family, and a heart-pounding page-turner you’ll find impossible to put down.

Book Review

Other People’s Children is a story about family with a couple adopting a baby from a teenager. Gail and Jon want a child but after struggling with infertility, they turn to adoption. Carli is a pregnant teenager that chooses to give her baby to them. Marla, Carli’s mom is very against Carli giving up the baby. The story is told through alternating perspectives. Everyone has very different opinions on family and what is best for the baby. The woman in charge of the adoption wants to make sure the baby ends up in the best home and thinks about her personal experiences. The character’s opinion on what they want changes throughout the book. Other People’s Children is emotional and really pulled me into the character’s stories. I recommend Other People’s Children for fans of books about family and adoption.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Michael David Axtell, Amanda Dolan, Madeleine Maby, Marni Penning, Tara Sands, and Pete Simonelli.  All the narrators did a great job. I really enjoyed having a full cast of narrators to voice all the different characters and bring their personalities to life.

Thank you Simon & Schuster Audio and Simon & Schuster for Other People’s Children.

About the Author

RJ Hoffmann was born and raised in St. Louis and received an MFA in fiction from Columbia College Chicago. Hoffmann’s writing has appeared in Barely South Review, The Sun, Harpur Palate, The Roanoke Review, Booth, and Lunch Ticket. He is the winner of The Madison Review’s 2018 Chris O’Malley Prize for Fiction and a finalist for The Missouri Review’s 2019 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors Prize. He lives in Elmhurst, Illinois with his wife and two children.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Other People’s Children

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