Amelia Stern is an academic pediatrician in a large city hospital and mother of a bright, young son. She is deeply involved with her patients, including Darren, born with AIDS, and Sara, the malnourished child of anxious parents, both lawyers. As she struggles to answer to the demands of her work for "other women’s children," she neglects her own child and her marriage begins to fall apart. Her husband’s resentment and her own feelings of guilt come to a crisis when her son falls seriously ill while she is at the hospital.


The author is a medical graduate of Harvard University (1986), a pediatrician, and a mother. Her story is interspersed with musings on the "uses" of children in other literature, especially in the works of Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, and Robert Louis Stevenson.


First published: 1990


Random House: Ivy

Place Published

New York



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