The fifth Child

The Fifth Child

Just today I read the book “The fifth child” by Nobel prize winning author Doris Lessing. Did I like the book? Did I not? I don’t know. All that I know is that the climax of the book could have been better.

The Story, in short:

The story is about a married couple, David and Harriet, who bought a big house and have decided to raise many children. The first four deliveries were normal. But the fifth one was a bit abnormal. The fifth child, Ben as he is named, is very strange and gives cold, dangerous looks to everyone. The whole family of David and Harriet are against his living in the house and so everyone decides to send him to an institution. After a  few months, Harriet could not control her emotions and gets back to the institution to her child. She gets carried away by looking at his condition and she decides to bring him back home. At home, he is not whole heartedly accepted by his other four siblings as well as his father.  But he does well, he learns to socialize. Harriet puts in a lot of effort to socialize him and to some extent she achieves it. In the mean while the tree other children go to Boarding school along with their maternal/paternal grandparents and start liking there. The fourth child feels ignored in the house because Harriet is busy looking after Ben and his father is busy most of the time. The fourth one, Paul, was the most amiable kid amongst all of his siblings. But as time moves, he feels that he’s ignored. Ben grows up to became a brat, a spoiled brat and he choses nasty friends who give answers to his(Ben’s) parents. He along with his gang is sometimes seen on the TV commiting crime.

The eternal happiness that the family was looking for is now gone. The fifth child destroys everything.

I liked the way the characters of Dorothy (Harriet’s mom), Harriet, David, Paul and Dr. Brett were designed. I also liked the way of showing mother’s affection and love towards an abandoned child. Her feelings about his birth, commiting a crime and all was superbly shown. What I dislike was the ending. But I came to know later that the ending was the beginning of a new book (its sequel) Ben, in the world. And then I realized that it wasn’t a bad ending afterall. All in all this is an average book. I’d rate it a 2 on the scale of 5.

In case you want to read a dull horror story you can put your hand on this one.

Will come up with a post on another book soon. Happy reading!!

PS: Ernest Hemingway’s fiction Old man and the sea compelled me to read a book by another Nobel winning author. But not every book written by Nobel prize winning authors is awesome!

PS2: Life is a “Bittersweet Symphony” 🙂


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