Thy Mother's Glass

David Watmough, Author HarperCollins Publishers $24.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-00-647399-2
This essentially plotless, meandering novel chronicles the relationship between a gay son and his ``sapphically'' inclined mother over a period of more than 30 years. The main character, Davey Bryant, is an irritatingly narcissistic young man, and his snobbish mother Isabella is no more likable. The novel follows Davey from his childhood in Cornwall, England, through his service in the navy during World War II, his university studies in London and Paris, and his life in San Francisco with his lover, Ken. Along the way, we are privy to the goings-on and internal life of Isabella by way of letters written to her son during their frequent separations and through her meticulously kept diary. The homosexuality of both son and mother is neither expected nor explained. Davey is suddenly brought up on a morals charge while in the navy, after which his sexuality is taken for granted. His mother begins a quasi-lesbian friendship with a woman named Charlotte Churchfield, the emotional power of which soon eclipses her marriage to Davey's father. Watmough's ( Families ) writing is alternately precious and prurient, and his characters, for the most part, lack any redeeming qualities. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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