The Third Child

By Marge Piercy
(William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780066211169, 352pp.)

Publication Date: December 1, 2003

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Description
The renowned novelist and poet Marge Piercy tells a contemporary love story set in the twin realms of college and national politics

In the politically prominent Dickinson family, ambition comes first, and Melissa, the third child, has always felt that she comes last. Going away to college offers her a chance at a life free from her brilliant mother's constant scrutiny and her famous father's lack of interest.

There she meets Blake, a man of mixed race and apparently unknown parentage. His adoptive parents are lawyers whose defense of death- row cases has brought them head-to-head with Melissa's father, the former governor of Pennsylvania who is now a U.S. senator.

Melissa and Blake's attraction is immediate; their affair, fiery. Yet Blake is keeping a dangerous secret from Melissa, one that could destroy them -- and their families.

Dealing with themes of love, honesty, identity, and the consequences of ambition, this thoughtful, beautifully written story is a remarkable and provocative page-turner.

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