Though I cannot remember what nor when, I feel sure that along the way I have read the work of Ruth Rendell. I am a great fan of mysteries, procedurals, and cozies, particularly those taking place in Britain. I don’t, however, know that “The Child’s Child” falls into any of those categories.
A novel within a novel, meant, I think, as some sort of social commentary, I found the behavior of its characters perplexing. While the juxtaposition of social mores from the early 20th century versus modern-day is interesting, the plotting seemed contrived unto tortured in order to make points I’m not sure need making. The mirroring of children born out-of-wedlock and the brother/sister and distant mother stories, well, none of them really sang or spoke to me – and if ever there was a person for whom brother and sister conflict ought ring, it’s me.
That said, I read it in a day. It’s fast, although the novel within the novel goes on too long (for me) and I felt the ending of the modern story too neatly, quickly and rather unbelievably tied up. After having invested so much time in the characters in the past – who came in the middle and lasted nearly to the end – I felt denied closure with the characters from the present, as if they’d been rushed out the door.
Still, nicely written, oddly plotted, poorly motivated behavior, and too many ideas left without enough exploration. Fun, but trying too hard, like the clever fellow at the party who might have a way with a story if he just didn’t go on so.
(As I’ve said, I read because I love to read. I have no dog in this race. I am not sent reviewer copies nor does anyone pay me to offer my opinion. I bought “The Child’s Child” and read it on Kindle after downloading the free preview which I found intriguing. You know what they say … get them in the first three pages … well, she did.)