From Publishers Weekly
White Los Angeles heart surgeon Minas Nolan, a very recent widower, meets African-American flower-shop employee Branwyn Beerman when her son Thomas is born prematurely with a hole in his lung, and without a father in his life. Minas has a son, Eric, a week younger than Tommy, and the four, along with enigmatic Vietnamese nanny Ahn, soon form a loving ménage. Following Branwyn's sudden death 50 pages later, Tommy, now six, is plunged into a hardscrabble life when his difficult father, Elton, claims him; he grows up without resentment, talking aloud to Branwyn when he's sad or confused (and sometimes to Elton's on-again, off-again partner, May), but ends up on the streets. Eric, meanwhile, sails through childhood and adolescence, but remains alienated, constantly missing "his brother," even having a child at 16 with Christine, who's a few years older. Knowingly drawing on the genre constraints that drive his Easy Rawlins mysteries, Mosley puts Thomas through trial after trial, and Eric through a kind of chronic heartlessness. Both continually refer to the time they lived together, and each thinks of the other as a real brother. After more than 10 years of separation, they're reunited, but that's not the point: with the lightest, slyest of touches, Mosley shows how a certain kind of inarticulate, carnal, involuntary affection transcends just about anything. It's not love, it's fate, and it's breathtaking. (Apr. 10)
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Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries series, tackles a new genre with almost every novel. Like some of his previous work, Fortunate Son
explores America's racial divide, but it does so in a fairy tale or parable about race, fate, luck, love, and redemption. Critics generally agree that Mosley succeeds in this genre; darkness, concise writing, compassion, social criticism, and questions about which son is "fortunate" resound loudly. Only the New York Times
faulted Mosley for his stereotypical characters, predictability, and lack of tension. In the end, Fortunate Son
may or may not live up to Easy Rawlins, but it remains a strong tale about love transcending all boundaries.<BR>Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.