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Sons & Lovers Unknown Binding – 1966

210 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B003F36LLQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Tom Munro on February 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sons and Lovers is a book that has been set for years in school for children to read. Somehow doing this usually means that most people emerge with a hatred of it but Lawrence's book is of such quality that it is able to survive.
It is about a woman who marries a coal miner someone who is below her class. While he is young there is some joy in her life but as she grows older the class differences create a wall between them. She lives for her two male children who she tried to keep out of the mines and to ensure that they can live middle class lives. As she grows older the children become more important to her. The death of the oldest means that she suffocates the younger son with a love that affects his normal development.
The story is told through the eyes of the younger son. There is little question that the novel is autobiographical and based on the early life of Lawrence. His life is almost identical to the events portrayed in the novel.
Lawrence was a prolific novelist and short story reader but this work is probably his most accessible. His later novels tended to be more about peoples relationships but without the social content.
Nowadays the class issues have receded a bit into the background. At the time of its publication the book would have been seen as revealing the divisions that operated in Britain. Most critics tend to focus on the relationship of Lawrence and his mother as the primary focus of the novel. To some extent this is true but the book is much more. It is a portrait of a society thankfully now gone. It is the portrait of a young man being propelled by his mother to escape his fathers destiny. Unlike Lawrence's other books which have tended to date this book is easy to read and still a classic.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By D. Mikels on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Emotional manipulation and possessiveness are at the core of this most intriguing novel. D.H. Lawrence's SONS AND LOVERS greets the reader with the author's elegant prose while systematically immersing the story in a swirling cloud of tangled dysfunction.
Married to a drunken, rowdy coal miner in early 20th Century England, Gertrude Morel has neither a life nor a true love. Her only chance for happiness--as she sees it--is to live vicariously through her sons: first William, then Paul. Her subsequent possessiveness, her relentless interference in their lives, is smothering and destructive. When William dies, Gertrude devotes all of her attention--her manipulation--to Paul. Her son becomes a symbolic soulmate. . .lover. . .and Gertrude is unable to let him go to pursue his own relationships.
Torn between his love for his mother and his guilt whenever he harbors feelings of affection for another woman, Paul is anything but a suitable suitor. He falls in love with Miriam, but his emotional dysfunction all but dooms the relationship--a relationship constantly sabotaged by his mother. Needing a physical outlet, he has a brief affair with a married woman, Clara Dawes, but even then, his love for and devotion to his mother prevails. As his mother's health fails, Paul's existence becomes even more problematic, culminating in a transcendent death.
SONS AND LOVERS is not a "feel good" read, and Paul's inability to break free from the psychological bondage with his mother is frustrating and sometimes exasperating. Yet the true victim of this Lawrence classic is not Paul, but Miriam, who only wishes to love, and be loved in return. The man she has fallen in love with is incapable of such devotion: the tragic complexity of the story lingers long after this book has been put down.
--D. Mikels
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story is brilliant. It is about how a woman (the mother, Gertrude) takes her son (Paul) as her lover instead of choosing her husband. She did not have the will to love the husband, and instead turned that will on a child. The title is not "Fathers and Lovers" or "Husbands and Lovers." The father is capable of being loved, but in Gertrude's mind, she is too good for the husband. Therefore, she turns her lover's heart towards a child ("Sons and Lovers"). In modern psychobabble, Gertrude doesn't recognize boundaries. The child is defenseless to the emotional power which penetrates him. He is absorbed and becomes one with the mother's heart and goals. It is similar to molestation but instead of a physical penetration, there is an emotional penetration. When the boy starts to grow up and should, rightly, begin to become whole with a woman, he is not free to take that step. His sexuality drives him towards an appropriate lover, and seemingly makes him appear available, but his emotional heart cannot take another woman into himself. There is already a lover who has penetrated his heart (i.e. his mother). For a man to be complete in love, he has to be able to enter a woman physically at the same time he takes her into himself emotionally. Paul can't allow another woman in emotionally because his mother is already there. Hence, even though he is able to enter a woman physically, the whole experience is deeply unsatisfying to both Paul and all the women in his life. The mother is not really satisfied because she can't have her lover completely (i.e.Read more ›
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