by Tom Perrotta
Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0312315732
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
St. Martin’s, Jan 2005, $13.95
The young suburban mothers watch their children playing together while mourning how tired they are. Each one dreads the fact that yesterday they were the children; today they are adults whose identity is defined through their relationship to their children.
Sarah once dreamed of being the super feminist, but that was when being bisexual gave her double the pleasure. Todd (yes - some of the moms are men) dreams of his teen days as a super jock, but laundry and little ones consistently intercede though not as much as his demanding workaholic spouse who wants him to practice law. Mary Ann dreams of the future of her child attending Harvard even when she has her scheduled weekly sexual appointment with her husband.
However, a predator has returned to their dreamy neighborhood. Ronnie, a convicted pedophile has just come home from prison. While Sarah and Todd try to recapture their youthful élan and idealism with each other, the preschool commanding officers rule over those enlisted with an iron hand. No hope remains for the future for those trapped in family bliss in the burbs.
LITTLE CHILDREN is a terrific satire that takes a hyperbolic psychological look at suburban supermoms whose dreams seem so ancient history though only a few years have passed since they harbored them. The story line takes no prisoners as Tom Perrotta condemns those who choose convenience over living. However what keeps this tale interesting is that the moms are sympathetic characters that many boomers will associate first hand with as reflections on our own lives. In many cases this results in shattered idealism replaced by a cyclical is that all there is?
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