The Fifth Child Author:Doris Lessing In the unconstrained atmosphere of England in the late 1960's, Harriet and David Lovatt defy the "greedy and selfish" spirit of the times with their version of tradition and normalcy: a large family, all the expected pleasures of a rich and responsible home life, children growing, Harriet tending, David providing. Even as the day's events take ... more »a dark turn--an ominous surge in crime, unemployment, unrest-the Lovatts cling to their belief that an obstinately guarded contentedness will preserve them from the world outside. Until the birth of their fifth child.
Harriet and David are stricken with astonishment at their new infant. Almost gruesome in appearance, insatiably hungry, abnormally strong, demanding and violent. Ben has nothing infantlike about him, nothing innocent and unsullied-nothing normal by societies standards. Harriet and David understand immediately that he will never be accepted in their world. And Harriet finds she cannot love him.« less