To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Fifth Child Paperback – May 14, 1989
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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."
From Publishers Weekly
A smug, conservative couple's fifth child (after four model children) inspires fear and horror. "The implications of this slim, gripping work are ominous," wrote PW. Lessing indicts those in authority who refuse to acknowledge responsibility for the violence inherent in mankind.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
David and Harriet are incredibly happy. They marry for love. They both want a big family--eight or more kids! They get busy and produce four in quick succession. As the reality of caring for their lovely brood hits them hard, they decide to slow down, but get pregnant with No. 5 unexpectedly.
And the fifth child is...peculiar. Is he really human? Or is he a primitive man, some kind of throwback from an oddball gene? Ben's birth disrupts this happy family and sends them on a downward spiral that is truly horrifying in its ramifications.
The sequel to Lessing's "The Fifth Child" is "Ben, In the World," and I have snapped it up to keep reading the story. Both are short, fast reads.
Then slowly and with skillful determination the author is able to introduce a horror that, if admitted, lurks in the minds of all expectant parents, "What if this child is not normal?" And Ben is so abnormal, so frightening that even in the womb, he attempts to destroy Harriet, his mother. And through no fault of his, for he is not capable of understanding his effect upon others, this beautiful family where four siblings had been thriving, is consistently and methodically torn apart.
Harriet is the most impacted if only because of the mother she is and must stay true to, but David, the father, is thrust into a role that is totally alien to the man introduced to us at the start of this captivating tale. Paul is the brother born just before Ben and we see in the changes that occur in that little boy, the epitome of what has been wrought. Harriet makes a decision that only a mother could have done, and destroys them all. Ms Lessing shows them no mercy.