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Mother's Milk

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Writing with the scathing wit and bright perceptiveness for which he has become known, celebrated English author Edward St. Aubyn creates a complex family portrait that examines the shifting allegiances between mothers, sons, and husbands. The novel's perspective ricochets among all members of the Melrose family — the family featured in St. Aubyn’s widely praised trilogy, Some Hope — starting with Robert, who provides an exceptionally droll and convincing account of being born; to Patrick, a hilariously churlish husband who has been sexually abandoned by his wife in favor of his sons; to Mary, who's consumed by her children and overwhelming desire not to repeat the mistakes of her own mother. All the while, St. Aubyn examines the web of false promises that entangle this once illustrious family — whose last vestige of wealth, an old house in the south of France — is about to be donated by Patrick’s mother to a New Age foundation.

An up-to-the-minute dissection of the mores of child-rearing, marriage, adultery, and assisted suicide, Mother's Milk showcases St. Aubyn's luminous and acidic prose — and his masterful ability to combine the most excruciating emotional pain with the driest comedy.

Review:

"This elegant and witty satire on the dissatisfactions of family life, which continues the story of Patrick Melrose, the hero of St. Aubyn's U.S. debut (Some Hope), opens in August 2000 at Patrick's mother's home in the south of France, with Patrick's five-year-old son, Robert, remembering with preternatural clarity the circumstances of his birth. No one on this vacation is particularly happy; Robert realizes he's being displaced by the arrival of baby brother Thomas, and Patrick is furious because his mother plans to leave her house (and what remains of her fortune) to Seamus Dourke, a ridiculous New Age guru. Over the next three Augusts, the Melrose story unfolds from different points of view: Patrick is deep in the throes of a midlife crisis; Mary, his wife, feels her self has been obliterated by the incessant demands of motherhood; and the two precociously verbal children struggle to make sense of the complexities of life. The narrative itself is thin, but the pleasures of the book reside in the author's droll observations (overweight Americans, for example, have 'become their own air-bag systems in a dangerous world'). It's yet another novel about familial dysfunction but told in a fresh, acerbic way. Agent, Gillon Aitken (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"St. Aubyn...touchingly conveys the near-clairvoyance of deepfamilial attachment — especially between parent and child." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[T]he novel vividly captures how the family members' roles shift with the birth of the second son." New Yorker

About the Author

Born in 1960, Edward St Aubyn is the author of four highly praised novels, Never Mind (winner of the Betty Trask Award 1992), Bad News, Some Hope and On the Edge. He lives in London and France.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781890447403
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Grove Press, Open City Books
Author:
St Aubyn, Edward
Author:
Edward St. Aubyn
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Mothers and sons
Subject:
New age movement
Subject:
FICTION / Literary
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20051011
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 13.6 oz

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Reference » Science Reference » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Mother's Milk
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 240 pages Open City Books - English 9781890447403 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This elegant and witty satire on the dissatisfactions of family life, which continues the story of Patrick Melrose, the hero of St. Aubyn's U.S. debut (Some Hope), opens in August 2000 at Patrick's mother's home in the south of France, with Patrick's five-year-old son, Robert, remembering with preternatural clarity the circumstances of his birth. No one on this vacation is particularly happy; Robert realizes he's being displaced by the arrival of baby brother Thomas, and Patrick is furious because his mother plans to leave her house (and what remains of her fortune) to Seamus Dourke, a ridiculous New Age guru. Over the next three Augusts, the Melrose story unfolds from different points of view: Patrick is deep in the throes of a midlife crisis; Mary, his wife, feels her self has been obliterated by the incessant demands of motherhood; and the two precociously verbal children struggle to make sense of the complexities of life. The narrative itself is thin, but the pleasures of the book reside in the author's droll observations (overweight Americans, for example, have 'become their own air-bag systems in a dangerous world'). It's yet another novel about familial dysfunction but told in a fresh, acerbic way. Agent, Gillon Aitken (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "St. Aubyn...touchingly conveys the near-clairvoyance of deepfamilial attachment — especially between parent and child."
"Review" by , "[T]he novel vividly captures how the family members' roles shift with the birth of the second son."
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