Book Review: Little Children by Tom Perrotta

I picked up this book from my library because I watched the movie version a year or so ago and was enthralled by the plot. I'm happy to say that the novel is no less enthralling. Tom Perrotta's characters in this novel are unique and substantial.

It impresses me when an author creates a story in which all main characters are terribly flawed. There is not one adult main character in Little Children who is a good person, yet, you can sympathize with them all.

Even Ronnie... at first. The author makes no secret of Ronnie's past, yet, I found myself denying it and feeling sorry for him especially when he was kicked out of the town pool on a hot summer day. However, during the blind date scene there is no doubt that Ronnie is evil. That he will hurt people. He is not in control of himself and is a danger to society. Does that mean that the townspeople have the right to treat him as they do? I don't know. My first response is no. Human beings should be allowed to live out their lives. He did his time in prison and his life is already horrible. Why add to that pain? Does the fear that other have of him make him deserving of daily abuse? At what point is his crime paid for? Is that even possible with a crime like his?

The marital relationships in the book are heartbreaking. Pure examples of what I find fearful in a committed relationship. Todd and Sarah possess a flaw which can been seen often in humanity. The idea that someone else is required to fix the problems in your life. If I only do this, if I only had this. They didn't being this story with the need for another person but latched onto each other so quickly and completely after their first meeting.

I find myself identifying with Sarah personality. The idea of motherhood is completely undesirable for me. On one hand, I was disappointed by her thoughts at the end regarding giving up her dreams and being a strong mother for her daughter and on the other hand it was so selfless that it was hard for me to not be touched.