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Mothers and Sons

Toibin, Colm

1,615 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1416534652 / ISBN 13: 9781416534655
Published by Scribner, New York, 2007
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.)

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Fine/Fine Unread Copy Protected by Archival Brodart Cover Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 001185

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Mothers and Sons

Publisher: Scribner, New York

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

A sequence of nine short works by the award-winning author of The Master explores the intricate bonds between mothers and sons as reflected at pivotal junctures that shift the way each sees and understands the other, from a famous singer's performance for an audience that includes her son to a son's search for his oppressed mother through snow-covered mountains. 35,000 first printing.

Review:

The nine stories in Mothers and Sons examine in depth some of the ways that the bond that is forged--or not--between mothers and their sons is altered, re-formed, or broken forever. In The Master, his fictionalized life of Henry James, Toíbín made the reader see and understand the writer more fully than ever before. Similarly, these new stories look at relationships between fully formed adults and, with a few deft strokes, make clear what their mutual history has brought them to. In most cases, they must deal with loss, while trying to grasp the complexities of that sometimes precarious balance between a mother and her son.

In the first story, "The Use of Reason," a lifelong burglar is nearly brought down by his mother, who talks too much when she drinks in her local pub. In "A Song," Noel, on the town with a group of his musician friends, ends up in the same bar as his estranged mother, who is asked to sing. She sings an Irish ballad about love and treachery and he is convinced that she is singing directly to him. In "A Priest in the Family," Molly's son Frank is accused of abuse, but no one has the courage to tell her until it is almost time for the trial. Her reaction is not entirely predictable. "Three Friends" takes place after a young man attends his mother's funeral. He joins his friends for a night of carousing and drugs ending with a late-night swim, where he is emboldened to make an overt sexual pass at one of his buddies, with interesting results. The final story, "A Long Winter," is set in Spain in a remote village. Miquel's mother drinks. Everyone knows it but Miquel. His father pours out her supply of booze and she leaves the house. So far it's a simple story. It doesn't stay that way. Each of these stories has its own gravitas, its own sadness, and that laser-beam of insight that is Toíbín's trademark. --Valerie Ryan

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