From the bestselling author of The Wife—Meg Wolitzer’s “hilariously moving, sharply written novel” (USA TODAY), hailed by critics and loved by readers worldwide, with its “dead-on observations about sex, marriage, and the family ties that strangle and bind” (Cleveland Plain Dealer).
Crackling with intelligence and humor, The Position is the masterful story of one extraordinary family at the hilarious height of the sexual revolution—and through the thirty-year hangover that followed.
In 1975, Paul and Roz Mellow write a bestselling Joy of Sex-type book that mortifies their four school-aged children and ultimately changes the shape of the family forever. Thirty years later, as the now dispersed family members argue over whether to reissue the book, we follow the complicated lives of each of the grown children and their conflicts in love, work, marriage, parenting, and, of course, sex—all shadowed by the indelible specter of their highly sexualized parents. Insightful, panoramic, and compulsively readable, The Position is an American original.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Imagine this: You’re a child in the 1970s and you find a sex book in the den. But it’s not just any sex book—it’s a runaway bestseller written by…your parents…featuring their naked bodies in every imaginable position. Meg Wolitzer’s wryly funny drama pivots around this fictional how-to guide and its effect on the Mellow family over 30 years. But the story is really about the inner workings of relationships between siblings, romantic partners, and adult children and their parents. Wolitzer’s astute observations on love, sex, and family dynamics are both laugh-out-loud hilarious and heartbreaking, sometimes within the same breath.
A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review.THE POSITIONMeg Wolitzer. Scribner, $24 (320p) XNeurotic 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.