ONLY CHILDREN by Rafael Yglesias
Kirkus Star

ONLY CHILDREN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The newest from Yglesias (Hot Properties, 1986) may be one the baby boomers will flock to--a passionate tale of thirty something yuppies in search of the perfect infant. Peter and Diane Hummel--he's a fund-raiser for the arts (with a private income, of course), she's a high-powered lawyer--have finally decided to have a baby. Or at least she has decided by secretly dispensing with birth control; Peter is a ""reluctant father."" And when little Byron arrives in their lower Fifth Avenue apartment, Diane sees the perfect baby, while Peter flees to the arms of his mistress, Rachel. Meanwhile, Eric and Nina Gold have also had a blessed event (she's vaguely thinking about fashion design; he's an up-and-coming Wall St. whiz), and it's name is Luke. Unlike Byron, Luke seems at first a lemon, an Edsel: his colicky ways drive both parents nearly insane and a later bout with constipation (described in excruciating but somehow riveting detail) turns them into little dictators. The next five years seem a perfect microcosm of the experiences of many moneyed New York parents today; Yglesias has a genius for portraying the small scenes of domestic baby life in the 80's: nanny-stealing in Washington Square Park, the fight to get into the really good private schools, the one-upmanship at cocktail parties, etc. Diane rejects a partnership to stay home full-time with Bryon (and then becomes bored); Peter's typically self-involved response to fatherhood is to begin a search for the adult who had molested him as a child. While Byron is merely a sweet kid, Luke turns out to be a prodigy, sought after by fancy elementary schools--and Eric and Nina hang in there, despite Eric's failure to turn his father-in-law's millions into Wall St. El Dorado. In the end, the couples (who know each other slightly) make a lot of compromises--and keep on keep on keeping on. High-class soap opera, but with a superlative cast--as Yglesias turns an eagle eye on the delights and pitfalls of parenting in the 80's.

Pub Date: May 19th, 1988
ISBN: 1453205152
Publisher: Morrow