cover image Motherland


Amy Sohn. Simon & Schuster, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5849-4

In her latest satirical saga, Sohn records the crises and transgressions of privileged moms and dads spread across Cape Cod, Greenwich Village, and Park Slope, Brooklyn. She introduces a cast of unpalatable characters, including some from 2009’s Prospect Park West, who gossip about money and sex and everything that comes with the territory of “Motherland. The land of child rearing, and nurturing, and nonstop care.” But Sohn’s parents have had enough and want some attention for themselves. Gay dad Marco Goldstein’s husband is out of town, so he finds solace in sex with random men. Rebecca Rose’s hubby is a distant pot-head, so she considers reconnecting with an old celebrity fling. Danny Gottleib flees his family for L.A. to snag a film deal, while his wife gets her toes sucked by a masseur. Film star Melora Leigh struggles to reinvent herself on stage, and Karen Bryan Shapiro, whose husband left her for a Puerto Rican transsexual, falls for an ex-con. Motherland is a wasteland ruled by indulgent women, and the lack of redemptive artfulness in Sohn’s storytelling makes the book a bust. Agent: Daniel Greenberg, Levine Greenberg. (Aug.)