Deborah Hollander

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 195

The greatest frustration in reading [Domestic Arrangements ] is the seeming lack of concrete values toward sexuality and life in general presented by the parents of two teenage daughters, Tatiana and Cordelia. The sophistication level of the mother, Samantha, is indistinguishable from that of her daughters. For example, when...

(The entire section contains 195 words.)

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The greatest frustration in reading [Domestic Arrangements] is the seeming lack of concrete values toward sexuality and life in general presented by the parents of two teenage daughters, Tatiana and Cordelia. The sophistication level of the mother, Samantha, is indistinguishable from that of her daughters. For example, when 14 year old Tatiana asks if her boyfriend can sleep overnight with her, Mom replies, "sure, for how long?" with little concern. The daughters model Samantha's tendency to flirt, cajole, and manipulate Neil, the father. Neil is a noncommittal character. When Tatiana asks her father for a diaphragm for a Christmas present (her 16 year old sister had received one the year before) Dad's response is, "I don't feel comfortable with the idea, you're fourteen sweetheart. That's still extremely young." As a reader this was quite disturbing; after all Dad has been very much aware of Tatiana's intimate relationship with her boyfriend for several months.

We question the audience Norma Klein directed this book toward. The messages and values presented throughout make us feel this book is inappropriate for school library consideration.

Deborah Hollander, in a review of "Domestic Arrangement," in Voice of Youth Advocates, Vol. 4, No. 4, October, 1981, p. 34.

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