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This novel by the author of "The Game Player" and "Hot Property" tells the story of two New York couples and the effect a first child has on their marriages. It presents, during the first five years of each child's life, the dramatic changes each parent must undergo.
partners who might disapprove. And as for the first-year associate, well, her career was finished. “They’re both crazy,” Didi said. But they were in love. Maybe they had flipped, but if not, if it was passion, then why should the senior partner care if he got screwed in the divorce settlement, if he got hassled by Stoppard, why should the first-year associate worry about a possible partnership seven or eight years hence? Why should a career block happiness? Yes, Diane no longer believed that
however, that the nurse caught him at it anyway. In response, made mute by the glass partition, the nurse mouthed, “Good night, Daddy.” Peter was disgusted. He left humiliated and stood uncomfortably in the peculiar carton-shaped elevator (we are eggs, he thought) next to a lot of pale, puffy faces that housed enervated eyes. Peter held his breath, convinced the air must contain an infinity of deadly germs. With each stride across the marble lobby, Peter hurried toward life, through the swivel
scared and angry. Eric rushed in, sweating, carrying a huge roll of paper towels still in its plastic package. He couldn’t get it open; the wrapping clung to his fingers. In desperation, he knelt beside her, furious, and dug through it to the paper towels, but at the cost of many sheets, torn apart by his method. He handed her a wad of fragments. The stuff, at first, only spread out more, sliding from under the towels. Some of it splattered on her dress. Some oozed through the holes Eric’s
morning. The decision to take on more work, to give up sleep entirely, energized her. She couldn’t stand the effort of her life as a lawyer and a mother if she were merely going to be good at it. She had to be the best to attempt the task at all. Diane entered her apartment. She heard Francine (despite some misgivings, Diane had hired Francine because of Pearl’s recommendation) laughing at Byron. Byron was on his back, a fine down on his head (like a boot camp marine), kicking his short,
classmates. Why he exposed them both to ridicule Peter never understood. As he told the story to their classmates, Gary giggled with mean delight while he described the look on Peter’s face as the thermometer was inser—Peter closed his eyes, as again his mind was overcome by the clarity of the memory, Gary laughing, Gary’s mother saying, “You’re such babies,” the whole horrible— “Peter, I’m going to need your help, all right? He’s getting hotter. Get some Vaseline and a towel.” “I’m not having