Customer Reviews for

The Fifth Child

Average Rating 3.5
( 22 )
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5 Star

(7)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2003

    The mistery of parenthood

    Why is it that most parents love their children and their children love them? Why do we take that love for granted? This short, breathtaking novel by Lessing makes us ask ourselves questions like that. It combines the narrative and fantastic genres. Poor Mark and Harriet. I'm glad I'm not under their skin.Please don't read this book before going to bed, or you won't sleep at all. And, what is worse, you will stay awake asking yourself if those noises are perhaps your children, awake and thinking God knows what.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2002

    The Title Says It all

    At the beggining of this book i was thinking what does this have to do with the title. This book has to be one of my favorites. Harriet is very determined and loyal while David works hard but just can't handle some situations. The auhtor provides a point of view from child and parent so you get the idea of both siuations. And as for Harriets mother, boy does she get a work out.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mother's Little Hero.

    In the relaxed mood of England in the late 1960s, Harriet and David Lovatt, face an unpleasant change of fortune when their fifth child is born.
    It's a boy and they call him Ben. The publisher calls him" monstrous in appearance, insatiable hungry, abnormally strong, demanding, brutal".
    Voila, just a normal kid I should say.

    After Ben is born it strikes me that after some time the father apparently has no interest at all in the education of his fifth child. I've been told that a father is less preoccupied by his children than the mother. 'Less preoccupied' is an understatement in this case. 'Totally uninterested' would be a better phrase. It's almost as if he wants to distance himself completely, foreseeing a family disaster.

    Later on Ben wants to lead his own life and he leaves his parents. But one day his mother is watching TV and she sees a coverage of a rather brutal demonstration. She recognizes Ben among the demonstrators and she makes the decision to go searching for her son.
    But who is this kid really? Is he a juvenile delinquent? Is he autistic? I don't believe that he says two understandable words in the whole novel.

    I believe that this book is one of the most enigmatic novels written by Doris Lessing. Is it a crime novel? Is it a symbolic novel about the times we are living in? Maybe one of the main questions is: how far goes the love of a mother for her child?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

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    Posted January 22, 2014

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