Can someone tell me why the possessive adjective ('suo') is not preceded by the definite article in this sentence? The general rule seems to be that the possessives are always preceded by definite articles - why not here? Thanks.
Because it's a family member. That is an exception to the rule. (An exception to the exception is that you DO use the definite article if you are referring to multiple family members. So "mio fratello", but "i miei fratelli".)