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Man, Woman and Child is a novel by Erich Segal. It details the lives of Robert and Sheila Beckwith and their daughters Jessica and Paula.


Robert is contacted one day by a friend in France, who tells him that Nicole, a woman with whom Robert had had an affair years ago, has died - and Jean-Claude, the son Robert never knew he had is now an orphan. That evening, Robert explains the situation to Sheila, and they agree to take in Jean-Claude for the summer holidays; however, they also agree to keep Jean-Claude's true identity a secret.

Later that summer, Sheila (a journalist) is tempted by the possibility of an affair with an author she has been interviewing. At the same time, Jessica and Paula discover Jean-Claude's true identity,through Davey Ackerman , Robert's friends son . They refuse to speak to their parents.

As the Beckwiths are bringing Jean-Claude to the airport to return to France, he suddenly falls ill and is hospitalized. After surgery, during which the Beckwiths become closer again, he makes a full recovery.

At last, the whole family come to terms with Jean-Claude and would like him to live with them. However, Jean-Claude refuse politely, for he has to go to the school in France choosen by his mother years before. This ending is not wonderful, but thoughtful

1983 film adaptation

Erich Segal adapted his novel into a screenplay and the film was released into theaters in 1983. The movie starred Martin Sheen as Robert Beckwith, Blythe Danner as Sheila Beckwith, Craig T. Nelson as Bernie Ackerman, David Hemmings as Gavin Wilson, and Maureen Anderman as Margo. Shekhar Kapur's 1983 Hindi film Masoom (Innocent) was also loosely based on the same novel.

External links

The critically acclaimed Hindi movie Masoom (meaning 'The Innocent' in Hindi), by Indian director Shekhar Kapoor, is also based on an adaptation of this book.



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