"The Position: A Novel" by Meg Wolitzer

Posted on Sat 28 February 2009 in ClubReading

Two mid-seventies free loving parents of four write a best selling Joy of Sex type sex manual. Flash to the present. How have the parents and children dealt with book?

A great concept, but the book doesn't deliver. The author doesn't let the characters speak for themselves.

The mother and father are stereotypical hippie academics. Separated a couple of years after the book. In the present, a publisher wants to reissue the book. The mother is desperate to regain the celebrity, but the father wants nothing to do with it.

The oldest child, Holly doesn't have much to do with the family. Rebellious as a teenager, now unhappily married to a doctor in L.A.

Michael, the older son is a software engineer living with his actress girlfriend in N.Y. He heads to Florida to try and talk his father into the book deal.

Dashiell is the next in line. A gay republican political speech writer living with his partner in Rhode Island. Dashiell discovers he has Hodgkin's disease and has to undergo chemotherapy. No surprise there. A healthy gay character simply is not allowed in American novels. Also, the authors political opinions and prejudices about present day America are spoken clearly in the authors voice in the Dashiell sections of the book.

Claudia is the youngest. She is a bit lost and uncertain. She is in film school and currently working on a film project. She is interviewing her elementary school teachers.

As I said, a great concept for a book but it doesn't deliver. If the author had limited the story to one or two of the characters and allowed them to speak for themselves it would have had a chance. But as written, it is just not a good read.