A sort of spiritual manual on the naming of children which is not quite as trifling a job as might appear. The naming process confers personhood, independent identity, ""thou-ness,"" even on the unborn child. But it can also be a declaration of ownership. Naming thus provides a concrete occasion for parents to discern their basic attitudes toward the child and parenthood and an opportunity to foster respect for the child as a person. The yet unborn child addressed with a name and attuned to the mother's voice emerges as more than just a biological entity. Overall, it's pretty thin fare and a very European book that doesn't suffer translation gracefully. Tournier's a kindly old doctor fond of telling stories and giving advice, but it's hard to keep from nodding as he rambles on at book length saying what The Reader's Digest could condense without loss.