The Fat Woman's Joke ) turns her sharp eye to the desperate neediness of two-career London parents seeking child care."/>

She May Not Leave

Fay Weldon, Author . Atlantic Monthly $24 (284p) ISBN 978-0-87113-942-9

Wary '80s feminism observer Weldon (The Fat Woman's Joke ) turns her sharp eye to the desperate neediness of two-career London parents seeking child care. Early 30-ish Hattie, a literary-rights agent, and lefty journalist Martyn are partners, rather than husband and wife. For their infant, Kitty, they procure competent young Pole Agnieszka Wyszynska who effects a glorious, unprecedented order in their household, thus allowing Hattie to return to work and the couple to enjoy real food and sex once in a while. It's Hattie's grandmother, Frances, however, who narrates, and Frances suspects Agnieszka isn't quite what she seems. If the au pair really is Ukrainian rather than Polish, she's not an EU cardholder and thus not legal to work. The solution of having Martyn marry Agnieszka makes Frances, who has emerged from the swinging '60s bearing her share of battle scars, raise her eyebrows. Weldon also adds great aunt Serena, a successful novelist, to the chorus; she has her own child-rearing, marriage and career stories. The results hit very close to the working literary family's bone. (June)

Reviewed on: 01/09/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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