A sober look at the dynamics of the family, perhaps most appropriate to those studying a course; casual readers may find this somewhat claustrophobic, and the thesis--that the ""family of origin"" affects all our subsequent family formulations--a bit too circular. After all, it is easy to assert that one's actions with a spouse or child reflect either a role one has played in one's original family grouping, a role one has coveted, or a rebellion against a role: that certainly seems to cover the field. Still, there are insights to be had from the authors' constant examination of stages--early marriage, pregnancy, adolescence of one's children, etc.--in light of the most crucial recurring issues, for each family, of power, dependency, autonomy, love, and separation. The ""dynastic imperative"" by which we reproduce ""not just ourselves but our family of origin--the whole configuration of familiar roles, rules, patterns, and values""--has some of the most wide-reaching implications; an unplanned pregnancy, for example, often results after a woman's family of origin has suffered a death within the past year (""In such cases, the whole family may be seeking someone who can help them replace the family member they lost or are losing""). Such subliminal goings-on are worth a thought, though the cautious reader will probably want more evidence before taking them to heart. All in all, then, a spur to more thorough investigation.