Three mothers facing impossible choices learn what makes a family, and discover just how far they’ll go to protect the ones they love.
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.
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.
"Other People's Children is an engrossing debut about the different ways we find our way to parenthood and to the people we are meant to be. I loved these characters and was on the edge of my seat until the last page, hoping they'd find their happy endings." —Laura Dave, bestselling author of Last Thing He Told Me
"Other People’s Children is a heartbreakingly dark, suspenseful exploration of the boundaries two women push to have a child. What I found most moving, however, were the tenuous relationships between the adult characters and their mothers. The story is a page turner, but the deeper insights about family will keep you thinking about this book for a long while." - Cara Wall, bestselling author of The Dearly Beloved, a "Read with Jenna" Book Club Selection
"Hoffmann’s debut is powerful.... The decisions [the characters] must make are gut-wrenching... 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." — Library Journal
"Hoffmann’s riveting debut is a high-stakes exploration of how far people will go to protect their family...A nail-biting examination of socioeconomic disparity and loyalty...[The] believable characters don’t disappoint, and [Hoffmann's] engrossing look at fraught issues piques. This sharp tale of heartache, loss, and redemption resonates." — Publishers Weekly
"A can’t-put-it-down novel that will live in readers' thoughts long after they finish reading.” — Kirkus Reviews