Mother Love

Candace Flynt, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $17.95 (341p) ISBN 978-0-374-21374-9
The title here is neither sentimental nor ironic, but ambiguous, posing a difficult, complex problem. How do three sisters, young women whose emotional lives seem governed by their motherstill a potent presence though two years deadtruly feel about her, and she about them? Well-mannered, discreet, middle-class Greensboro, N.C., where the novel is set, provided too small a scope for the mother, a woman who was intense, passionate, determined to live her own life. Divorced from her inoffensive husband, married to her long-time lover, she was given to outbursts of caprice, spite and malice to the point of violence and cruelty toward her daughters. Each of them shows the effects: confusions and uncertainties revolving around men, love, child-bearing, personal autonomy. But Katherine will bear a child; Jude will go off to Chapel Hill in search of a new life; Louise will somehow survive an unhappy first love. The resolutions they arrive at are somewhat over-contrived, evasive of the more intransigent realities of conflict between generations. But on the whole, Flynt's third novel (after Sins of Omission grapples handily with treacherous materials and commands the reader's interest and attention. (May 25)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-452-26076-4
Paperback - 341 pages - 978-0-8071-2697-4
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