Henrietta, privileged and sheltered, expected a smoothly comfortable society life in Washington when she married Sam Pollitt, a handsome self-made biologist.
Ten years later, Henny is a skinny, screaming drudge with five children, a raging wreck of a woman driven by ‘hate, horror, passion or contempt.’ But Sam, whose impractical idealism has brought his family to near-ruin, is unchanged: still at sea in all adult affairs, an absurd hypocritical buffoon but a genius with children … except Louie, his eldest daughter, an ugly brilliant adolescent who is forced to take a drastic, final step to save herself and the children from lasting tragedy.
The Man Who Loved Children
is an astonishing account of the decline of an American bourgeois family. Intimate, accurate and savagely funny, it is also unforgettably moving.
See this link
for an essay by Jonathan Franzen on this book.
...and this one
for The Guardian picking up the story.
‘She could transmute personal experience into something of both social and psychological significance … She was one of the great originals.’
'The greatest novel about family life ever written.'