'The book was called Pleasuring: One Couple's Journey to Fulfillment. The title, when the children had first heard it and begun to understand it, was so incontestably mortifying that it threatened to stunt them forever, leaving them clocked in time and steadfast refusal to enter the adult world.' This is more or less what happens to Holly and ...
'The book was called Pleasuring: One Couple's Journey to Fulfillment. The title, when the children had first heard it and begun to understand it, was so incontestably mortifying that it threatened to stunt them forever, leaving them clocked in time and steadfast refusal to enter the adult world.' This is more or less what happens to Holly and Michael, Dashiell and Claudia, after they read the seminal book which their liberal parents Paul and Roz Mellow have written, a book that features tasteful pastel illustrations of their parents' lovemaking - and which has become a runaway bestseller. Thirty years later, when the children who have grown up in the shadow of these erotically charged parents are adults, and it looks as though the book may be reissued, we catch up individually with their conflicted, complicated 21st-century lives and those of the iconic couple whose marriage has not run as smoothly as it seemed set to do...The Jane Austen of sexual politics, with crackling intelligence, humour and a signature hint of suppressed rage, Meg Wolitzer takes us into the heart of a family that is dysfunctional in its very own way but heartbreakingly familiar.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-11-08 Neurotic siblings and embarrassing parents are familiar (even required) elements of the literature of suburban nostalgia and malaise. Wolitzer (Surrender, Dorothy; The Wife) doesn't tamper with these basic ingredients in her latest novel, but she gives them a titillating twist. Paul and Roz Mellow are enthusiastically in love-so much so that in 1975 they write a how-to sex book, Pleasuring, that features illustrations of them in every imaginable position. The book becomes a runaway bestseller. When the children find the book and read it together, they're forever traumatized, in ways both serious and comedic. Flash forward 30 years: Paul and Roz are long divorced and remarried, and Paul, in particular, remains bitter; the grown children fumble through their lives on the eve of the publisher's reissue of the sex classic. The oldest, Holly, has settled into late motherhood after a lifetime of nomadic drug-taking; uptight Michael suffers from chronic depression; Dashiell, a gay Log Cabin Republican speechwriter, is diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease; and insecure late-bloomer Claudia returns to her Long Island hometown to finally figure out how to be a fully functioning adult. If the characters are rather stock, and the musings on love, sex and family familiar, Wolitzer nevertheless bestows her trademark warmth and light touch on this tale of social and domestic change. Agent, Peter Matson at Sterling Lord Literistic. 6-city author tour. (Mar. 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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