In her new novel, Doris Lessing gives a fresh twist to an old idea: What would our world seem like to an alien who found himself among us, and how would we react to such a being? But Ben Lovat is not a creature from another planet; he is from our own distant past--a throwback to a species near the beginning of human evolution. Lessing's 1988 novel The Fifth Child was told from the point of view of Ben's family, especially his mother. It recounts the havoc the birth of this monstrous child caused in what had been a happy, old-fashioned family. Lessing's sequel continues the story from Ben's point of view.