By Tom Perrotta
Tom Perrotta's thirty-ish mom and dad of kids are a diversified and unbelievable bunch. There's Todd, the good-looking stay-at-home dad dubbed "The promenade King" through the mothers of the playground; Sarah, a lapsed feminist with a bisexual earlier, who turns out to have stumbled right into a conventional marriage; Richard, Sarah's husband, who has discovered himself an increasing number of concerned with a myth lifestyles on the net than with the flesh and blood in his personal condominium; and Mary Ann, who thinks she has all of it found out, right down to scheduling a weekly roll within the hay together with her husband, each Tuesday at 9pm. all of them bring up their children within the type of sleepy American suburb the place not anything ever turns out to happen-at least until eventually one eventful summer season, while a convicted baby molester strikes again to city, and stressed mom and dad commence an affair that is going extra than both of them can have imagined. abruptly suspenseful, yet written with the entire fluency and darkish humor of Perrotta's past novels, Little Children exposes the grownup dramas unfolding amidst the swingsets and slides of a normal American playground.
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Extra info for Little Children: A Novel
In addition, insecurity makes us exaggerate the slightest criticism from other people; even if our mother mostly loves and admires us, we won’t see it. Listen to Betty, who in her midfifties had enrolled in law school after raising three children: After I graduated from law school, my first job was with a huge law firm that had never hired a Black woman before. The senior partners were especially tough on me, and my self-confidence—which had never been terrific but had improved when I did well in law school—just plummeted.
And you’d be mortified. That kind of practical problem is a symptom of the fact that mother-blame limits your freedom: you can’t be an adult who freely considers all of life’s possibilities. You restrict yourself to certain activities, interests, and friends to prove how different from Mother you are. You can’t look honestly at who you are, because you might discover ways that you are like her! Frantic to avoid what you consider her failures, you overreact, throwing 1 2 The New Don’t Blame Mother out the good with the bad: you grow tough because you think she’s sentimental, or you become a doormat because she wasn’t warm enough.
Fear of Repetition If we weren’t deeply affected by mother-blaming, we wouldn’t fear being compared to our mothers; we could even be proud. Blaming our mothers harms us, because what we believe about our moth- Such Love, Such Rage 29 ers, we often suspect about ourselves. It’s hard to find a woman who does not spend time thinking she acts just like her mother, or that she is very different from her mother, or both. In all of those thoughts, her mother is the standard, so what she believes about her mother matters a great deal.