Mothers and Lovers, by Maria Flook
College professor April O’Rourke is in over her head when she moves next door to a working class family in startling upheaval–an attractive older man, his child bride ex-wife, and their teenage son, who has returned home from reform school to live with his father. The professor has troubles of her own, including the mysterious death of a boyfriend and a new relationship with the college provost, a married man. Soon she is mesmerized by her young neighbor but his unorthodox bond with his mother has earth-shaking consequences for everyone. This sweeping novel overturns sacred traditions and maps the scissoring boundary lines of family ties and carnal attraction. Flook’s authority shimmers on every page as she exposes the contemporary matriarch’s role and its taboo off branches–the childless career woman as imposter, and the mother, herself, as lover.
MOTHERS AND LOVERS is expert on the way in which we know better but still find ourselves tumbling into shameful entanglements and foolish behavior, all in the name of those intensities that allow us to connect more fully to passion, and to dismantle and reassemble our lives.
—Jim Shepard, author of
YOU THINK THAT’S BAD and PROJECT X
MOTHERS AND LOVERS is an incendiary exploration of the stormy chemistry that emerges when the lives of strangers intersect. April O’Rourke is a haunting, haunted heroine. I would follow her and this devastating, deeply humane novel, anywhere.”
—Laura van den Berg, author of
THE ISLE OF YOUTH.
MOTHERS AND LOVERS explores those currents of transgressive sexuality that lie beneath ordinary life, and the dangerous shifting of roles and identities that results when those currents are loosed. By turns witty, suspenseful, and erotic, this is first-rate storytelling.”
—Jean Thompson, author of
THE HUMANITY PROJECT and National Book Award Finalist for WHO DO YOU LOVE.
Maria Flook stuns with MOTHERS AND LOVERS. I’m in awe of this book.
—Ryan Boudinot, author of
BLUEPRINTS OF THE AFTERLIFE.
Maria Flook casts her ever-discerning eye over the interior life of America today. Flook loves her characters with an unrelenting compassion, and bravely dares her readers not to. The dare succeeds, and drives the novel home.
—James Carroll, National Book Award Winner
and author of WARBURG IN ROME.
AND FOR THE COLLECTOR:
- A signed first edition of Mothers and Lovers, and;
- A fine hardcover signed first edition of her first book of fiction Family Night (1993, awarded PEN/Hemingway Citation) and;
- A fine hardcover signed first edition of her rare first book of poetry Reckless Wedding (1982, winner of the Houghton Mifflin New Poetry Series)..
Maria Flook, a 2007 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Award recipient, is the author of the nonfiction books New York Times Bestseller Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod and My Sister Life: The Story of My Sister’s Disappearance. Her fiction includes the novels Lux, Open Water, and Family Night, which received a PEN American/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Special Citation, and a collection of stories, You Have the Wrong Man. She has also published two collections of poetry, Sea Room and Reckless Wedding, winner of the Houghton Mifflin New Poetry Series. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, The New Criterion, TriQuarterly, and More Magazine among others. Maria Flook is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College in Boston.