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Other Peoples Children written by Joanna Trollope studies ultimately the construction of a new family It strongly challenges the issue of steparenting by examining the assembly of a step- family the problems which occur as a result and the formation and disintegration of relationships surrounding this new family Trollope became a stepmother when she wed her second husband in 1983 and although she insists that her experience was not the motivation behind this novel it certinely gives an accurate insight into the world of stepfamilies A marriage has just taken place Matthew and Josie both left brokendown marriages to persue something new a love in which they envisaged hope and happiness However as these two are being rescued from inevitably failed marriages the children of both Josie and Matthew feel they are being dragged in chains to be part of what they regard as a constructed family which they want no role in Becky Clare and Rory are adolescant products of Matthews previous marriage All three of them are bitter towards the prospect of a stepfamily and have been conditioned by their eratic mother Nadine to despise Josie Rufus is the eight year old child of Josie He has lived the extent of his young life surrounded by a stepbrother and sister Lucas and Dale now in their late twenties whos mother died tragically when they were young Rufus misses his father Tom and enjoys the company of his fathers new fiance Elizabeth The likelihood of yet another stepmother disturbs Dale a grown woman who has never come to accept the death of her mother and the loss of her childhood The theme of stepmothers in the novel becomes very apparent as Josie and Elizabeth both find themselves fighting to save their relationships as they are faced on their own with the
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