last year, but let's just say that The Golden Notebook SCARRED me, and made me seriously unwilling to read more Lessing. Unfortunately, I already owned two or three of her books, and since it's the season of RIP and all, I thought I'd give her another chance with The Fifth Child.
Well. It wasn't as bad as The Golden Notebook, I'll give her that. And, to be honest, towards the beginning I was very hopeful for its prospects of getting along with my brain, and when we got to the awful pregnancy where the baby kept trying to rip her apart, I was all like
Ok, so here's an actual story synopsis. Two old-fashioned young people in the 60s meet and decide to have lots of children just like they always used to in the olden days, and they have 4 awesome children and their lives are great, but then the fifth child (see what she did there?) is sort of a monster and it kind of tears their family apart. And I guess that this is supposed to be a parable about nobody-ever-getting-what-they-want, or about having too much of a good thing (sex/babies, I guess?) or something, but mostly it's NOT scary, but also not much of anything else either. But at least it was short. And I did finish it in a day.
So, obviously it was readable. I did read it. But I was not AT ALL scared. I honestly thought I was going to be. I thought, oh, here's another We Need To Talk About Kevin, only this time, everyone else is scared of the child-monster, and the mother is the one protecting him. But it's not like that at all. It's more like... The mother keeps him around even though she doesn't want him around, and in the process breaks up her entire family, and also the kid is maybe an alien, and, like Doris I'll just throw that in there and leave it for you to chew on without backing it up with anything else. I mean, SERIOUSLY, Doris?