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The Fifth Child

Lessing, Doris

10,599 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0582060214 / ISBN 13: 9780582060210
Published by Longman
Used Condition: Good Soft cover
From Hawking Books (Lake Arrowhead, CA, U.S.A.)

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0582060214 Meets the good condition guidelines. Has writing/highlighting. Has wear. Five star seller - Ships Quickly - Buy with confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # Z0582060214Z3

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Fifth Child

Publisher: Longman

Binding: PAPERBACK

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Doris Lessing's contemporary gothic horror story—centered on the birth of a baby who seems less than human—probes society's unwillingness to recognize its own brutality.

Harriet and David Lovatt, parents of four children, have created an idyll of domestic bliss in defiance of the social trends of late 1960s England. While around them crime and unrest surge, the Lovatts are certain that their old-fashioned contentment can protect them from the world outside—until the birth of their fifth baby. Gruesomely goblin-like in appearance, insatiably hungry, abnormally strong and violent, Ben has nothing innocent or infant-like about him. As he grows older and more terrifying, Harriet finds she cannot love him, David cannot bring himself to touch him, and their four older children are afraid of him. Understanding that he will never be accepted anywhere, Harriet and David are torn between their instincts as parents and their shocked reaction to this fierce and unlovable child whose existence shatters their belief in a benign world.

Review:

The married couple in this novel pull off a remarkable achievement: They purchase a three-story house with oodles of bedrooms, and, on a middle-class income, in the '70s, fill it to the brim with happy children and visiting relatives. Their holiday gatherings are sumptuous celebrations of life and togetherness. And then the fifth child arrives. He's just a child--he's not supernatural. But is he really human? This is an elegantly written tale that the New York Times called "a horror story of maternity and the nightmare of social collapse . . . a moral fable of the genre that includes Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and George Orwell's 1984."

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