Other People’s Children

S. & S. Apr. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9781982159092. $27. F
DEBUT Gail and Jon Durbin want nothing more than to make their family complete with a baby. But after three miscarriages, it just isn’t happening, so they decide to adopt. Carli, an 18-year-old high school student, got pregnant and, after looking through numerous prospective parent profiles, chooses the Durbins to adopt her baby. But Carli’s mother, Marla, has other ideas. She doesn’t want Carli to give up her baby when she can raise her by herself—with the help of Marla, of course. But that is Marla’s motherly guilt speaking, as she was not there to raise Carli and her sister. When Carli attempts to reclaim her child from Gail and Jon, three mothers, three decisions, and three threads weave together to create a life for a baby.
VERDICT Hoffman’s debut is powerful with strong, well-developed characters. The decisions they must make are gut-wrenching, particularly those of Gail and Carli. The story takes turn after hairpin turn, moving into domestic suspense, that will have readers waiting with bated breath until the conclusion; even then, they’ll be left to wonder if there is more.

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