Mothers and Lovers

Mothers and Lovers

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Maria Flook, author of New York Times Best Seller Invisible Eden, brings us another edgy, breezy-noir New England story. College professor April O’Rourke is in over her head when she moves next door to a family in trouble, including a teenage son, who has returned home from reform school. 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.


“Flook’s artistic intentions are clear and largely realized . . . unified by her subtly witty, deep dives into family dynamics, and forbidden sexual acts and desires.”

The Boston Globe

“Best-selling author Maria Flook’s edgy new saga, Mothers and Lovers (Roundabout Press), is set in Rhode Island’s gentrifying South County and spiked with lyrically erotic overtones. Newly settled professor April O’Rourke’s relationship with her next-door neighbor’s troubled teenage son blooms beyond their wildest dreams in this daring tale of temptation and taboo.”

Elle Magazine


“Fascinating and disturbing. Flook is no stranger to the territory of sexual or romantic ambiguity. Everyone keeps schemes and secrets from the others; in the kaleidoscopic movement of Mothers and Lovers, we get to know them all.”

Los Angeles Times


“Sexual tensions compound with sexual secrets until they burst open.”



“Flook is drawn to stories about people who have boundary issues. She has the ability to capture the thrill of flouting taboos and also the compassion to reserve judgment about people who give in to foolishness. A disquieting story.”



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


“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