The novel's perspective ricochets among all members of the Melrose family - the family featured in St. Aubyn's praised trilogy, "Some Hope" - starting with Robert, who provides an exceptionally droll and compelling account of being born; to Patrick, a hilariously churlish husband who has been sexually abandoned by his wife in favour of his sons; ...
The novel's perspective ricochets among all members of the Melrose family - the family featured in St. Aubyn's praised trilogy, "Some Hope" - starting with Robert, who provides an exceptionally droll and compelling account of being born; to Patrick, a hilariously churlish husband who has been sexually abandoned by his wife in favour of his sons; to Mary, who's consumed by her children and an overwhelming desire not to repeat the mistakes of her own mother. All the while, St. Aubyn examines the web of false promises that entangle this once-illustrious family whose last vestige of wealth - an old house in the south of France - is about to be donated by Patrick's mother to a New Age foundation. An up-to-the-minute dissection of the mores of child-rearing, marriage, adultery, and assisted suicide, "Mother's Milk" showcases Edward St. Aubyn's luminous and acidic prose - and his masterful ability to combine the most excruciating emotional pain with the driest comedy. Absorb "Mother's Milk" into your and bloodstream and postnatal depression will never seem the same again..."A masterpiece. Edward St. Aubyn is a writer of immense gifts. His wit, his profound intelligence and his exquisite control of a story that rapidly descends to the lower depths before somehow painfully rising again - all go to distinguish the trilogy as fiction of a truly rare and extraordinary quality" - Patrick McGrath on "Some Hope".
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-22 This elegant and witty satire on the dissatisfactions of family life, which continues the story of Patrick Melrose, the hero of St. Aubyn's U.S. debut (Some Hope), opens in August 2000 at Patrick's mother's home in the south of France, with Patrick's five-year-old son, Robert, remembering with preternatural clarity the circumstances of his birth. No one on this vacation is particularly happy; Robert realizes he's being displaced by the arrival of baby brother Thomas, and Patrick is furious because his mother plans to leave her house (and what remains of her fortune) to Seamus Dourke, a ridiculous New Age guru. Over the next three Augusts, the Melrose story unfolds from different points of view: Patrick is deep in the throes of a midlife crisis; Mary, his wife, feels her self has been obliterated by the incessant demands of motherhood; and the two precociously verbal children struggle to make sense of the complexities of life. The narrative itself is thin, but the pleasures of the book reside in the author's droll observations (overweight Americans, for example, have "become their own air-bag systems in a dangerous world"). It's yet another novel about familial dysfunction but told in a fresh, acerbic way. Agent, Gillon Aitken (U.K.). (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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