The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing is about Harriet, a young woman of the twentieth century, whose dream is to enjoy the fruits of homemaking and a large family. So far, all of her wishes have come true; she’s living in a British suburb with a loving husband and four bright-eyed children. At the birth of her fifth child, Ben, everything changes. Although the doctors say there is nothing wrong with him, Ben is anything but normal: He is unnaturally strong and shows strange sadistic tendencies. Will Harriet have to choose between her child and the life she’s always wanted?
Although I would label The Fifth Child a modern classic rather than a thriller, few words would better describe it than “thrilling.” I thought that some aspects of the book were too far-fetched and they detracted from the overall realism in the book, but I otherwise have no complaints. Suspenseful, thought-provoking and horrifying – I would recommend this short read to both enthusiasts of classic literature and entertainment literature.
Monika Williams, Age 16