Why are Erich Segal’s stories such classics when it comes to tugging at the heartstrings? We explore why you should check him up, with this review of Man, Woman and Child.
Man, Woman and Child was written by Erich Segal, the renowned author of Love Story, Doctors and The Class. The book was released in 1980, and since then, has been adapted into numerous films.
The book revolves around Robert Beckwith and his wife, Sheila Beckwith, and how they manage to come out of the most difficult thing to cope with in a marriage: adultery. The book demonstrates in the crudest form how a couple so in love can become estranged because of a mistake committed as long as 10 years ago, which gave them an additional source of joy; another child.
The so called ‘other woman’ is Dr. Nicole Guerrin, and her opinions on marriage, motherhood and single parenthood are progressive and in line with feminism. The child then comes to live with the couple after Nicole’s death, who treat him with the utmost care and tenderness, almost akin to parental love.
Robert’s yearning for a male child depicts the very age this story is set in. Even though the couple has two daughters, the husband longs for a boy: a boy he didn’t want to fall in love with, but ultimately does.
The child’s etiquettes and manners echo how well a woman (that too a doctor, always busy) can do the job of bringing up a child on her own. It is rather the daughters’ way of speaking to their father which appals the readers. They don’t talk like kids but assume the tone of spoilt adults.
The end leaves the readers earnestly asking for more because it doesn’t seem like the usual Bollywood ending. It’s not all tulips and roses but teaches one that life isn’t always fair, and that one has to learn to deal with everything. In short, then, Man, Woman and Child is about finding your inner strength to deal with the obstacles life throws at you.
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