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The Fifth Child

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eBook published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
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.
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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.
Product Details
eBook (144 pages)
Published: November 17, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307777645
Other books byDoris Lessing
  • Martha Quest

    Martha Quest
    Intelligent, sensitive, and fiercely passionate, Martha Quest is a young woman living on a farm in Africa, feeling her way through the torments of adolescence and early womanhood. She is a romantic idealistic in revolt against the puritan snobbery of her parents, trying to live to the full with every nerve, emotion, and instinct laid bare to experience. For her, this is a time of solitary reading daydreams, dancing -- and the first disturbing encounters with sex. The first of Doris Lessing's timeless Children of Violence novels, Martha Quest is an endearing masterpiece.

    The Sweetest Dream

    The Sweetest Dream
    A Novel
    Frances Lennox ladles out dinner every night to the motley, exuberant, youthful crew assembled around her hospitable tableher two sons and their friends, girlfriends, ex-friends, and ftesh-off-the-street friends. It's the early 1960s and certainly "everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." Except financial circumstances demand that Frances and her sons Eve with her proper ex-mother-in-law. And her ex-husband, Comrade Johnny, has just dumped his second wife's problem child at Frances's feet. And the world's political landscape has suddenly become surreal beyond imagination.... Set against the backdrop of the decade that changed the world forever, The Sweetest Dream is a riveting look at a group of people who dared to dream-and faced the inevitable cleanup afterward -- from one of the greatest writers of our time.

    The Grandmothers

    The Grandmothers
    In the title novel, two friends fall in love with each other's teenage sons, and these passions last for years, until the women end them, vowing a respectable old age. In Victoria and the Staveneys, a young woman gives birth to a child of mixed race and struggles with feelings of estrangement as her daughter gets drawn into a world of white privilege. The Reason for It traces the birth, faltering, and decline of an ancient culture, with enlightening modern resonances. A Love Child features a World War II soldier who believes he has fathered a love child during a fleeting wartime romance and cannot be convinced otherwise.

    Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog

    Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog
    Dann is grown up now, hunting for knowledge and despondent over the inadequacies of his civilization. With his trusted companions—Mara's daughter, his hope for the future; the abandoned child-soldier Griot, who discovers the meaning of love and the ability to sing stories; and the snow dog, a faithful friend who brings him back from the depths of despair—Dann embarks on a strange and captivating adventure in a suddenly colder, more watery climate in the north.

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Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Harriet and David met each other at an office party neither had particularly wanted to go to, and both knew at once that this was what they had been waiting for.

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  • Harriet and David met each other at an office party neither had particularly wanted to go to, and both knew at once that this was what they had been waiting for.

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Harriet und David lernten einander bei einer Betriebsfeier kennen, zu der sie beide nicht besonders gern gegangen waren, doch merkten sie sofort, dass dies der Moment war, auf den sie...

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  • Perhaps quite soon, in the new house she would be living in (alone) with David, she would be looking at the box, and there, in a shot on the News of Berlin, Madrid, Los Angeles, Buenos...

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  • Perhaps quite soon, in the new house she would be living in (alone) with David, she would be looking at the box, and there, in a shot on the News of Berlin, Madrid, Los Angeles, Buenos...

    — submitted by Flag This Quote For Review
  • Vielleicht würde sie, Harriet, bald in dem kleineren Haus, wo sie, allein  mit David wohnen würde, beim abendlichen Fernsehen in den neuesten Nachrichten aus Berlin, Madrid, Los Angeles...

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