The Sugar Mother

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( 74 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780060915889: The Sugar Mother

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year: a witty and sophisticated classic by one of Australia's most daring and entertaining novelists.

Edwin Page, a fussy middle-aged professor, no sooner bids farewell to his obstetrician wife, Cecilia, who accepted a fellowship abroad, when his new neighbors, Mrs. Botts and her sexy, twentyish daughter, Leila, arrive. Since they're locked out of their house, Edwin invites them in-and then can't get them to leave. He becomes obsessed with Leila and convinces himself that she is a perfect surrogate mother for the childless Cecilia. "Wickedly amusing . . . subversive" (New York Times Book Review), The Sugar Mother undoes the institution of marriage.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Jolley (1923-2007) is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers, with a formidable international reputation, and during the 1980s and 1990s was widely acclaimed with a wide readership in the U. S. Born in England in 1923, she was brought up in a strict, German-speaking household and attended a Quaker boarding school. She became a nurse, married, and with three children moved to Western Australia in 1959. Although she wrote all her life, it was not until she was in her fifties that her books started to receive the recognition they deserved. Her work won every major award in Australia, and was several times selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Excerpts from her novels (including Cabin Fever, Book 2 in the Trilogy) were published in The New Yorker. Her novels include The Sugar Mother, Foxybaby, Miss Peabody's Inheritance, and Mr. Scobie's Riddle. Elizabeth Jolley died in 2007.

Review:

“Front page review: Jolley’s warmest novel, her most moving, and possibly the best introduction to her fiction. . . . wonderfully engrossing. . . . The conclusion is almost unbearably tense.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“A droll domestic comedy...emotionally astute and, at times chilling...as much a character study as it is a thriller...Jolley withholds just enough information...to create a suspenseful finale.” (Washington Post)

“Humor...suspense...and exquisite characterization . . . . Jolley has us in her able grip.” (The New Yorker)

“Sometimes feels like a Beckett or Pinter play, and sometimes like an engrossing Agatha Christie detective tale . . . . a satire-cum-fantasy with enormous flair.” (The Arts Fuse)

“Delicious . . . a novel of pungent charm.” (Angela Carter)

“Hilarious and bawdy.” (Robert Coover)

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Published by HarperCollins Publishers (1989)
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