MARRIAGE AND FAMILIES by Essie E. Lee

MARRIAGE AND FAMILIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It is impossible to summarize the thrust of this ill-worded, unthought-out hodgepodge because it has no thrust. Sentences that recall Eisenhower's classic ""Things are more like they are now than they ever were"" are strung together almost at random. A typical sequence: ""The extended family is often miles away--too far to help. Parents can no longer expect blind obedience from children, nor are they permitted to use harsh measures of punishment. Although parents work, most attempt to develop their children rather than restrict them. This may not work, even with the help of teachers, psychologists, and guidance counselors. Today, the main reason for having children is love, not economic necessity. In fact, the average child costs $35,000 to $45,000 to rear to adulthood. . . . Society holds the mother accountable for the child's attitudes and behavior, because the father is away most of the child's waking hours. . . ."" Enough? The result is a jumble of self-evident statements, top-of-the-head generalizations, quotes and case histories that illustrate no point, and streams of trivia. Topics raised (but hardly considered) include dating, new marriage ceremonies and old customs (cake, bouquet, ring, veil, etc., etc.), women's lib, married life during war and depression, and divorce; and though nothing the author says leads there (or anywhere), she ends with visions of a cloud-cuckoo future of rational choice, shared responsibility, warm and loving daycare, and no stereotypes--all with ""the modern support of science and technology."" Worthless.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1978
Publisher: Messner