Author(s): Anna Quindlen
In New York's Westchester County in the 60's lives a community of Irish Catholics. Object Lessons centres around the Scanlan family, at the head of which manufacturing giant John Scanlan uses his wealth to control his grown-up children. One of his sons, Tommy Scanlan, is enough of a renegade to marry an Italian girl and we see the difficulties of a mixed marriage and how each perceives it, but it is their daughter Maggie who gives us a clear window into the Scanlans with the sharp and passionate vision of a child on the verge of adulthood. Piecing together bits of gossip, deciphering clues, straddling two cultures, she observes the powerplay operating behind the scenes of family life; and after the long hot summer of her thirteenth year she decides what SHE will do with HER own life.