The Fifth Child - Part 3, p. 48 - 76 Summary & Analysis

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Part 3, p. 48 - 76 Summary

The new baby seems physically somewhat misshapen, his hair grows in awkward patterns, and there is no sense of recognition between mother and child. Harriet feels pity for him, "his mother disliking him so much". That dislike doesn't ease as the months pass, and Ben, as the baby is named, reveals himself to be emotionally and physically violent (at times deliberately so) and, in many ways, repulsive - the family finds it as difficult and as uncomfortable to hold him as they find it pleasurable to hold the sweet tempered and laughing Paul. The other children, Luke and Helen in particular, find it harder and harder to give affection to their new little brother, as does Harriet, who takes to shutting him away in the small nursery, which he doesn't seem to mind. Meanwhile, the visits of the extended...

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