Mama's Boy

Bev Arthur, Author Strawberry Hill Press $9.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-89407-054-9
This is a book with alternating sections by mother and son, ostensibly about the upbringing that ""resulted'' in Martin, now in his late 30s, becoming gay. Yet it is also an involving and sad portrait of a peripatetic, chaotic family: a child bride with little self-confidence, Bev marries first Martin's father, an alcoholic who dies smoking in bed, second a gambler who leaves her and the family for another woman, and third a man who disparages Martin as a ``sissy'' and occasionally beats him when Bev isn't around. In the meantime, Martin, with a slew of sisters, half-sisters and stepbrothers and stepsisters, moves from school to school, has difficulty making friends, and often retreats into himself. Bev insists repeatedly that she wants only happiness for her eldest child; however, Martin shows that Mom demands adult behavior, high achievement in school and often ignores the stress of moving and each new family on the bright, sensitive boy. While Bev's often unenlightened accounts dominate the beginning of the book, Martin's refreshing narrative becomes the focus at the end: his departure from home, bafflement over his sexual identity and his eventual achievement of peace with himself.(November)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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