For starters, it seems obvious that Lynn intends Michael to be the literary success that Elly wasn't. As time marches on, he'll eventually become the local celebrity, much as she is in the North Bay area. As such, he'd probably sooner or later attract the sort of attention that Deanna adressed in her last letter when she worried about his stepping out on his family. She does so, of course, in vain. Michael, you see, shares his father's impulse towards monogamy. He can suround himself with attractive women but, at the end of the day, he isn't about to mess up the best damn deal he's ever encountered. When it comes to Mike being committed to his marriage, I and Lynn and in lockstep. We diverge on how long he can maintain his career at the pace he's set himself. The way he's charging along, he's going to burn himself out. History teaches us that people like him who drain away their creative impulses drift towards fealty to some political crackpot. Lynn sees him becoming a genteel man of letters. I see him devolving into the mouthpiece for a screaming extremist.
Deanna, on the other hand, scares me for a different reason. It seems clear that Lynn intends her to succeed where Elly failed by having a career and children at the same time. Supermom gives me a case of the cold sweats because she doesn't seem to be in touch with reality. I should think that she's still, on some level, dealing with the apartment fire. She is willing herself to think that she's not scared or angry and that's not a good way to be. You can only lie to youself so long about a trauma that great before you snap and do something regrettable. My fears show me a future where she does a helpless child an injury because some minor incident makes her lose her grip. Not that she was all that great a mother to begin with. She may not have intended to do so but her parenting style makes her look like an abuser with something to hide. "Don't make noise", "Don't cry, you're not hurt that bad" and other such 'helpful' statements may seem harmless to her but they ring alarm bells in the minds of those who are aware of the problem of child abuse. This tells me that somewhere inside her, the impulse to just plain smack her kids over the head exists but is hidden behind a smile. They wouldn't be the first set of kids to walk on eggshells growing up lest Mommy go into a frenzy.