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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in mylar jacket with light wear, shows some light reader wear throughout ,all the usual library marks and stamps.
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Motherland: A Novel Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439158495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439158494
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #785,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“While Sohn’s sharp, hilarious tale satirizes these affluent, artsy Brooklyn archetypes and their fickle yet predictable Hollywood counterparts, it also explores the waning of passion, the angst of being housebound with kids, and the despair of watching your spouse morph from best friend to apathetic, angry, or needy adversary . . . [Motherland] keeps you hooked—and cackling—until its surprisingly resonant final lines.” —Cathi Hanauer, ELLE

“Sohn provides more than a soupcon of sardonic pleasure. . . .There’s lots of sex (with everyone but spouses), illicit pot-smoking, dubious career moves, hilarious social commentary and clever twists and turns in Motherland—making it a perfect last-minute beach read before fall arrives.” (USA Today)

“A heartfelt and hauntingly true reflection of what it is to be a modern parent. . . .Expect to be hooked.” (Daily Candy)

“[A] summer-fun novel.” (New York Daily News)

“Smart. . . A satirical swipe at the Park Slope Crowd of parents reveals promiscuity, secrets, despair and, oh yes, child care.” (Kirkus)

“A juicy, diverting look at the private lives of hip, urban parents, Motherland is filled with witty and wise observations about sex, marriage, parenthood, and fidelity. I live in the exact part of Brooklyn Amy Sohn describes, and now I can't stop wondering what my neighbors are up to behind closed doors.” —J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Commencement and Maine

“Hilarious, smart, razor-sharp and spot-on, Amy Sohn’s Motherland is a sheer pleasure to read. Did I say riveting? I stayed up long past my bedtime, immersed in the lives of these characters, needing to know how it all turned out.” —Dani Shapiro, author of Devotion and Family History

“Sohn is clearly culturally savvy, and her dialogue is often witty and at times spot-on.” Booklist

About the Author

Amy Sohn is the author of four novels. She has written articles and columns for New York magazine, The New York Times, The Nation, and Harper’s Bazaar, and television pilots for such networks as HBO, Fox, and ABC. Visit her at

More About the Author

Amy's fifth novel, The Actress, will be published by Simon & Schuster on July 1, 2014. Beyond that . . .
In 1973 Amy was born in Manhattan. Raised in Brooklyn Heights, Amy went on to attend Hunter College High School. In 1995 Amy graduated from Brown University, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, and with Honors. That year she returned to Brooklyn to continue the acting career she had started as a child. It didn't go well, though she did appear in an episode of "Law and Order" called "Girlfriends."
In the summer of 1996 she became a columnist at New York Press, writing her autobiographical "Female Trouble" column, a chronicle of dating below Fourteenth Street that elicited loads of invective from readers and shamed her parents at dinner parties. This column was satirized in a cartoon by Anthony Haden-Guest that featured a blond and brunette talking, with the brunette telling the blond, "I'm the new you." This was thought to be based on Amy and Candace Bushnell, though Anthony never admitted it outright.
In 1999, Simon & Schuster published Amy's first novel, Run Catch Kiss, which has since been translated into four languages. According to the New York Times review of the book, "A little-known event that took place around the time that Richard M. Nixon was resigning as President was the birth of Amy Sohn, who has emerged as a representative of her generation." The review included the words "concomitant," "concupiscence," and "Spenglerian," three words that do not appear in the novel but should have.
In 1999 Amy became a columnist at the New York Post, where she enraged management by comparing Mayor Giuliani to Hitler and writing an expose on the Yankees locker room from the point of a view of an oversexed single woman looking for naked guys. Though the point of the column was that female sports journalists could not see anything prurient in modern clubhouses even if they wanted to, the column was attacked by female sports journalists and debated on WFAN.
In 2000, Amy co-created, wrote and starred in a television show for Oxygen's "X Chromosome" animated series entitled "Avenue Amy" that ran for two seasons alongside shows starring Laura Kightlinger and Wanda Sykes.
In 2001 Amy landed at New York magazine, where her first column, published that August was called "Intern Season" and used the gory disappearance of Chandra Levy as an opportunity to discuss dating and romance among summer interns in Washington, DC. This inaugurated her "Naked City" column, whose original title was "Sex Matters." After a few years "Naked City" became "Mating" and after a few more it became "Breeding."
In 2004 Simon & Schuster published her second novel, My Old Man, about a May-December relationship between a rabbinical school dropout and an aging screenwriter. It took place in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
In 2008 she became a columnist at England's Grazia magazine, where she wrote a column called "Diary of a Recessionista." The recession soon took over and the column was axed.
Over the years, Amy has also written for Harper's Bazaar, Premiere, Playboy, Elle, The New York Times, and Details. She is a recipient of a reader award from Playboy called the Golden Bunny and was voted one of Park Slope's 100 most influential people. She is certain she is the only individual to have received both honors.
In 2009 Simon & Schuster published Amy's third novel, Prospect Park West, about four Park Slope mothers on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It has since been translated into ten languages. Motherland, the sequel to Prospect Park West (which does not require that a reader has read Prospect Park West), was published in 2012.
As a pundit on popular culture, Amy has appeared on such networks as VH1, MTV, Fox News, CNN, Lifetime, MSNBC, and PBS. She has declined invitations to go on Fox News to discuss a) coeducational bathrooms at college campuses and b) Miley Cyrus. She has written television pilots for ABC, Fox, Lifetime and HBO.
She grew up in Brooklyn, where she still lives today. She has a brother, five years younger. She voted for Barack Obama and raised money for him. Her favorite writers are Laurie Colwin, Hilma Wolitzer, Charles Bukowski, Nathanael West, Mary Gaitskill, and Bruce Jay Friedman. Her favorite films include Gregory's Girl, The Landlord, The Apartment, My Life as a Dog, and Together.
She had her seventh birthday party at Kramer versus Kramer but not all the children were permitted by their parents to come. As a child she was taken to the films Heartland, Splash, Heart Like a Wheel, The Magical Mystery Tour, and Mr. Hulot's Holiday and is glad about it. She thinks Wainwright elevates Apatow and not the other way around. She has strong biceps but weak abs. She is aware that her inspiration for this list was the Kevin Costner speech in Bull Durham. She has had sexual fantasies about Richard Ford and they were productive.
If she could switch careers she would be a Broadway musical theater producer or a sommelier. She dresses to the left. She believes that when it comes to hair highlights, cheap is expensive. Her favorite joke is, "What's the difference between a Jew and a Gentile? A Gentile leaves without saying goodbye and a Jew says goodbye without leaving." She also enjoys a very tasteless Katharine Hepburn joke whose punchline is, "How do you turn it off?" Her favorite candy is York Peppermint Patties and she always has a knot in the same section of her hair when she wakes up. She lives in Brooklyn with her family a few subway stops from where she grew up.
Like her at, follow her on Twitter at, and visit her at

Customer Reviews

I decided to not waste my time anymore and read something I enjoy.
Pamela Renney
You could say that about any one if the characters in this book and I guess the good news is they find themselves in better places by the end.
J. Zorn
As a fan of Amy Sohn I was looking forward to its release and preordered it, bit I was very disappointed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you liked the soap opera that is Amy Sohn's last book, Prospect Park West, you'll probably enjoy its sequel Motherland. I enjoyed the chance to catch up with some of the characters from her last book, and the book doesn't disappoint with salacious - if improbable - details of their lives.

Basically, the book centers around a group of friends/parents all of whom live (or in a few cases, lived) in Park Slope. The couples are struggling with the monotony of long term relationships (with kids) and the questioning/settling one deals with as they approach middle age. This leads a few of the partners to act out, either by cheating or abusing other vices. It even leads to the destruction of a few relationships. The stories are intertwined in a creative way, with all of the characters' lives intersecting - showing the incestuous/claustrophobic nature of Park Slope.

An interlude about some stroller thefts might play into an innate destructive desire many non-breeders have when faced with the monster strollers that are popular today, but it never really goes anywhere (even as it does tie back into the narrative).

Sohn's writing is witty and engaging, and occasionally she surprises with a deep insight or two. Ultimately the book skirts the surface, staying as superficial as her characters. I don't mean that as an insult - I enjoyed the light tone of the book.

If you didn't read/don't remember Prospect Park West, Motherland still stands on its own.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Teacher S on November 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amy Sohn's 'Motherland' sounds like the kind of novel I would get into - many characters, each sharing his or her perspective on similar themes and events. A fugue, of sorts. This book kept popping up on various "If you liked then you'll love " and "Other Customers Bought..." so I gave it a go.

I'm not certain which title in my browsing or purchasing history for which the algorithm is designed to calculate, but I can only guess that in this particular case, it miscalculated as much as wanting New York City and ending up in Hell.

The characters are navel-gazing, one-dimensional, and several other cliches attributed to dissatisfied, overly self-important individuals. I rolled my eyes at their musings, their genteel problems, and the general implausibility of the novel. [SPOILER] Really? One guy contributes his semen twice to his daughter, once for her conception and then again twenty years later when they meet as strangers? Really?

It is the stuff of great Friday night soft-core news shows or Jerry Springer; I have very little room for it on my bookshelf.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dana R. Casella on October 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I strongly disliked this novel and forced myself to finish it, hoping Ms. Sohn would redeem herself and turn the novel into something other than a deviant sexual odyssey acted out by a group of Park Slope (Brooklyn) yuppies. Everyone was cheating on everyone else, lying, deceiving, lusting after someone (and acting on those feelings) despite a perfectly good spouse or partner at home. Some characters were based on shallow Hollywood types, and were, thus, involved in a great deal of partying (i.e. drugs and meaningless encounters).
Each short chapter was about a different character, which is a good gimmick (short chapters which left me wanting to know how the character would resolve his/her issue later on). That is about it for positive remarks. I was left feeling I wasted my time, and my money (have to pay a fine to the library because this book was so difficult to force myself to read, that I went over the time limit!)
I didn't respect a single character in the book. The highlight of the novel was when I closed it and knew I never had to read another book by Amy Sohn.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alison Patterson on October 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is it a spoiler to say that by the end, I was genuinely disappointed that not one of these awful people died? That's not the only reason that the ending was a disappointment: a mess of messy people ends too neatly, every thread knotted, lives woven together, when what is wanted is a form suitable to the characters' unraveling. Never do I discard books, but I left this one behind in a hotel to make room in my carry-on for cheese.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Superfast Reader on August 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I do not know why I kept reading Motherland, I didn't connect with any of the characters and I was seriously worried about the safety of all their children. I had enjoyed her previous novel, Prospect Park West, mostly because as a New York mom myself I am not immune to the pleasures of schadenfreude. But with this book, I couldn't enjoy any of it because everyone was just so utterly miserable and it was easy to see how it was all their own damn faults.

I do have to credit Amy Sohn with her talent for astute cultural commentary, and despite my feelings about this book I'm sure I'll read her next one.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dart on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I hated this book and had to push myself to finish it. This book was the last read of my summer reading-list. I found the characters totally unbelievable, their actions improbable, the "plots" ludicrous, and the overall tone of the book very downbeat. I also thought her characterizations anti-semetic. I was disgusted by the book. Do yourself a favor and read "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed or "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.
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