Little Children (Perrotta) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
This soccer-mom Bovary, like the original, grasps the fundamental sadness of characters trapped in middle-class stability and yearning for adventures gone by. But Mr. Perrotta is too generous a writer to trivialize that. What distinguishes Little Children from run-of-the-mill suburban satire is its knowing blend of slyness and compassion.
Janet Maslin - New York Times


Little Children, like all Perrotta's work, is a virtuoso set of overlapping character studies, the sort of book where both a remorseless Stepford mom and an accused child molester can inspire pity and show themselves more than capable of their own sorts of compassion.... Tom Perrotta is, indeed, all grown up now, and Little Children, is a greatly auspicious and instructive encounter with the dread world of maturity.
Chris Lehmann - Washington Post


The eponymous children in this satirical novel are actually adults who, chafing at the burdens of parenthood, try to re-create their unencumbered youth. Sarah, an overeducated young homemaker, likens her tantrum-prone daughter to a “brooding Russian epileptic” out of Dostoevsky, and pines for lost college days of feminism and bisexuality. While her husband orders used panties online, she has furtive sex with a stay-at-home dad whose repeated failure to pass the bar has earned him the contempt of his gorgeous wife. The humor is sometimes cruel, but Perrotta never betrays the complexity of his characters. For all Sarah’s sins—neglecting her child, wallowing in romantic delusions—there’s something almost brave about her refusal to join the supermoms drilling their toddlers with dreams of Harvard, and about her yearning for more than “a painfully ordinary life."
The New Yorker

[I]ntelligent, absorbing tale of suburban angst…. Perrotta views his characters with a funny, acute and sympathetic eye…. Once again, he proves himself an expert at exploring the roiling psychological depths beneath the placid surface of suburbia.
Publishers Weekly


[A] penetrating and absorbing portrait of three suburban couples and their failed marriages.… Perrotta's poignant and unflinching prose skillfully evokes both sympathy for his characters and disdain for the convenience they have chosen. Highly recommended. — Karen T. Bilton, Somerset Cty. Lib., Bridgewater, NJ.
Library Journal


[A] complex, fast-moving plot. Darker than such sprightly entertainments as Joe College (2000) and The Wishbones (1997).… Perrotta charts his several characters' interconnected misadventures are handled with masterly authority. An accomplished comic novelist extends his range brilliantly. Perrotta's best.
Kirkus Reviews

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