Michelle's Reviews > The Position

The Position by Meg Wolitzer
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Mar 01, 10

Read in February, 2010

How would you and your siblings react if your parents had written the nation's best selling sex guide (complete with graphic illustrations of themselves demonstrating various positions) of the 1970's? This novel opens with the four Mellow children gathering in the den one afternoon to page through the volume. Their initial reactions as well as the lifelong effect of carrying the Mellow name and feeling like the whole world has watched your parents have sex over and over again is chronicled in this book. Wolitzer also examines the effect of the guide's success on the marriage of the authors, Paul and Roz Mellow.

Wolizter's strength is well developed characters who come across as real people. She transitions reasonably well between flashbacks and present day to give appropriate back story, which aids in fleshing out the characters. It's easy to imagine these people interacting together as a family in all the comfort and tension that implies. Even the secondary characters were well written. The novel wraps up in a reasonably honest fashion. It's not happily ever after for every character but neither is it hopelessness for all.

The one thing I found a bit annoying was sometimes feeling like that irritating narrator from Desperate Housewives was telling the story. At times I also wanted to slap a few of the characters and tell them, "You can't blame all your problems in life on this book." Fortunately, as the characters grew, their awareness and ability to parse out cause and effect did too.
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