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In a Country of Mothers

The Houston Post

May 1993

For Mother's Day, Deep Affection and Dark Obsession

By Lisa Bass

Whether you love her or hate her, your relationship with your mom is undoubtedly one of the most complex, deeply felt of your life. No aspect of life is untouched by your mother's influence—her opinions and ideas follow you forever, even if you're trying hard to escape them.

The maternal bond can reach across space and time to mold both child and parent. Even an absent parent exerts tremendous influence, forcing a child to refocus reality in terms of what the missing mother might have been.


In A Country of Mothers presents a complex, deeply detailed portrait of two women seeking in their own ways to redefine their ideas of motherhood. Claire Roth, a middle-aged counselor of troubled souls, has never stopped grieving for the child she gave up for adoption 25 years ago. Jody Goodman, a talented would-be filmmaker, both loves and is frustrated with her adoptive mother.

Jody, seeking both direction and solace, is referred to Claire for help in making the decisions she is reluctant to face. They develop a friendship that gives Jody the strength to quit her job and indulge in the life-long dream of enrolling in a filmmaking program in California. 

But their friendship soon veers from the prescribed therapist-patient relationship—and into an intense, destructive obsession.

A.M. Homes, author of Jack and The Safety of Objects presents a provocative, seductive psychological thriller of uncommon power. She dances on the thin edge of reality without going over the edge—her characters are well-drawn and utterly, if terrifyingly, believable. 

Homes takes our deepest feelings on mothers and motherhood and infuses them with a provocative, dark, and sometimes very funny air. Here is all the dirty laundry of compulsions and obsession we don't normally air in public along with crankiness, frustration and affection we normally lavish on Mom. 

Homes brings to life our finest sentiments and our unspoken insanities, and twines them into a compelling, powerful work with a voice worth waiting for.

 

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