Crackling with intelligence and original humor, The Position is a masterful take on sex and the suburban American family at the hilarious height of the sexual revolution and throughout the thirty–year hangover that followed.
In 1975, suburban parents Paul and Roz Mellow write a Joy of Sex–type book called Pleasuring: One Couple’s Journey to Fulfillment, which becomes a surprise runaway bestseller. The Position opens with the four Mellow children, aged six to fifteen, at the moment when they see the mortifying book (and the graphic, pastel illustrations of their parents’ creative, vigorous lovemaking) for the very first time— an experience that will forever complicate their ideas about sex, parents, families, and themselves.
Thirty years later, as the now-dispersed family members argue about whether to reissue the book, we follow the complicated lives of each of the grown children as they confront their own struggles with love, work, sex, death, and the indelible early specter of their erotically charged parents.
Some novels are about family, and others are about sex. The Position is about sex within the context of a family. Insightful, witty, panoramic, and heartbreaking, it is a compulsively readable novel about an eternally mystifying subject: how a group of people growing up in one house can become so very different from one another.