Kramer vs Kramer
DATE FIRST EDITION
This book is a novel.
The story takes place in New York City for the bigger part. The main characters go some weekends to Fire Island and ones they go to Florida.
One of the main characters is an acquisiteur.
This is important for the book, because the main character loses his job several times without it is him to blame. He has to work very hard and that is one of the reasons why his wife has left him: She wanted to work but that wasn't possible because she had to take care of their child. The pressure was too hard for her.
DESCRIPTION MAIN CHARACTERS
- Ted Kramer. He is a man with brown eyes and light-brown hair. He is an acquisiteur, someone who sells advertising space. He is sensitive, not very aggressive and he is good for his son.
- Joanna Kramer. She is a slender woman with long, black hair, large brown eyes. She likes to play tennis. She is a bit egoistic and chesty, she can't handle with being alone with her son whole day. She gets irritated by him, but she still loves him.
- William Kramer. He is a beautiful little boy with brown eyes and black hair. He is a lovely child, not aggressive but very sweet. He can manage with the divorce of his parents.
DESCRIPTION RELATIONSHIPS BEWEEN MAIN CHARACTERS
Ted and Joanna are married and they have one son: Billy. Later in the story they get divorced and Billy stays with Ted.
The author is Avery Corman. She doesn't have a role in the story.
The title refers to the case that is held in the last few chapters: After the divorce Billy stayed with his father, but after a few years his mother returns and she wants him back. Ted doesn't want to give Billy away, so they get a lawsuit to let the judge decide who may have the child. This case is called 'Kramer vs Kramer', so that is the title of the book.
Summary: Joanna and Ted Kramer are married. They get a son named William Kramer, but they call him Billy. The first months are very hard: they have to get up to feed him very much, they are often very tired. Ted has a hard time on his work. The relationship between Joanna and Ted is getting bad. Joanna is tired of being alone at home with Billy. She finds it very boring. She wants to do something, she wants to get a job. Ted doesn't want her to get a job, because they will need a baby-sitter for Billy and they can't afford that. So she stays at home.
After a while they talk again about that and then they decide that Billy will go to a nursery school so Joanna would have some time for herself. In that time she takes tennis lessons and she plays tennis a lot.
The only thing she likes in her life was tennis. She hates to be home, she hates her life. Then, on an evening, she finally says it: 'I'm leaving you...'. And she walks out the life's of her son and her husband. She doesn't want to take Billy, so Ted get the custody of Billy.
Now Ted needs a housekeeper to clean the house and to look after Billy when he is at work. After a long search he finds the woman he needs: Mrs Willewska. She is a wonderful, but a bit naïf woman. Billy likes her too.
In the mean time he has told his acquaintances the story, which is a big work too.
He spends his time in the evening and the weekends with Billy. They get to know each other very well.
Ted and Billy get a new 'holiday house' where they go some weekends. It is an Fire Island and they have much fun there. Since then he goes out more. Also in New York he hires a baby-sitter and he goes out with friends. His neighbour Thelma is a very good friend of him. She is alone too and she has a daughter.
Ted and Billy don't hear anything of Joanna until Christmas. Somewhere near Christmas Joanna calls and says she wants to spend a day with Billy. So they spend the day together and Billy has had a wonderful day. Joanna travels further and leaves them alone again.
Joanna lives in California, she hires out cars.
Then Ted gets a call. It is his boss, he asks him to come to his office. He has terrible news: The magazine they work for has been sold. They are all fired. Now begins a very hard time for Ted. He has to find a job, but there is no job to be found. He is busy all day to find one. After he has spend almost all of his savings, and after almost a year he finally gets a job offered by his old boss.
A few months later they go on a holiday to the brother of Ted in Florida. They have a great time there. Billy goes with his uncle and his family to Disneyland and Ted goes to Miami.
There is a rumour going round in the company of Ted. The staff would not be too confident with the sale marks. Ted doesn't want to lose his job again, so he works very, very hard to save the company and his job. Finally his work works out in a good way: he has saved the company.
Suddenly Joanna returns and asks Ted to give Billy back to her. But Ted doesn't want to give him away, he wants to keep him. After some talks with each other they still don't agree, so they finally get to a lawsuit. Then he loses his job again, a few days before the lawsuit. He works night and day to find another one, because else he could be sure that he couldn't keep Billy. Fortunately he gets a job very soon.
In the lawsuit first Joanna and her lawyer may speak and call in her witnesses. After that it is Ted's turn and together with his lawyer he does a great job. Then they have to wait for the decision of the judge. His decision is that Joanna may have the kid, because she is his mother.
Ted finds that a disaster. But he has to hand Billy over. By the time that Joanna has to come, she isn't there. She doesn't show up. An hour later she calls and says she can't do it because she has heard what Ted has done for Billy, she thinks that she hasn't got the right to take him away of his daddy. So Ted can keep Billy, but Joanna wants to keep seeing Billy. They are all very happy.
I think the theme is the love between parent and child. The book wants to make clear that parents are willing to do anything for their child.
The central episode is the time Joanna left. Then is Ted responsible for Billy and by then they really get to know each other and from then they are hardly separated from each other.
This story is told by a he/she style. Mostly you see the story through the eyes of Ted. Sometimes there is a swap to Joanna's point of view.
- I like the main character Ted. He is nice to his son and to his friends. I also like Billy. He is a sweet child.
- My opinion hasn't changed about them.
- I hope this story will never happen in my life. I think I will never leave my child with my husband, no matter how difficult it is.
- The story was very fascinating. I enjoyed it very much.
- I was totally absorbed in the book.
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