The Other Family

A Novel

The Other Family

When Richie Rossiter, once a famous pianist, dies unexpectedly, Chrissie knows that she must now tell the truth to their three daughters: their parents were never married. Yet there is one more shock to come when Richie’s will is read. It seems he never forgot the wife and son he left behind years ago—Margaret, who lives a quiet life of routine and work, and Scott, who never knew his famous father. Now two families are left to confront their losses and each other, and none of them will ever be the same.

Witty, intelligent, and insightful, The Other Family is a story of modern family life from one of our most beloved authors of domestic fiction.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439129838 | 
  • April 2010
List Price $20.99
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Other Family includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Joanna Trollope. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Richie Rossiter was a respected singer and songwriter when he died, leaving behind the woman he shared his life with and their three daughters. But he had never forgotten his first wife and their son. And in his will, he left matters in a way that not only compounded the shock of his death but also forced his two families to confront both each other and his true feelings about them all.


For Discussion

1. We meet Chrissie as she is grieving Richie’s death. Her first thoughts are about her ring, a physical sign that Richie and she were never married. Why does she cling to this thought? How does this frame the story and influence the reader’s initial view of Richie?

2. Richie and Chrissie have three daughters: Tamsin, Dilly, and Amy. Chrissie admits he was better than her at connecting with them. Does Chrissie seem like a good mother to her daughters throughout their struggle? In what ways does she change or improve as the story continues?

3. We n see more

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About the Author

Joanna Trollope
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Joanna Trollope

Joanna Trollope has been writing fiction for more than 30 years.  Some of her best known works include Daughters-in-LawThe Other Family, The Rector's Wife, A Village Affair, Other People's Children, and Marrying the Mistress.  She was awarded the OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honors List for services to literature.  She lives in England.