Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Motherland: A Novel Paperback – July 2, 2013
|New from||Used from|
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Following a group of Park Slope Brooklynian couples told from the perspective of 5 characters: one straight wife, one straight separated wife, one straight husband, and one gay husband, the chapters are small bites of their stories, which propels you along at a mercifully quick pace.
I can't help, but to feel condescending as I review this book. It just doesn't come together for me. The plot lines are so thin, the characters less than one dimensional, the marriages based on superficiality, and the author seemingly obsessed with semen (maybe it's just me, but there were way too many details about it in this book). The only interesting plot points are left unexplained, or aren't given enough attention (like the whole stroller thief thing), and the ending is entirely too saccharine for me. To be fair, I didn't read the prequel to the series, so maybe there were some redeeming qualities about these characters in the previous books that didn't make it to the sequel.
Reality television is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I just don't feel like that kind of smut needs to be translated into literature. Even the plot twists were disgustingly predictable. The stereotypes were in poor taste: Depictions of gays as a choice between an oversexed, deceitful addict, or an overweight, straight couple wannabe, put a bad taste in my mouth, a villainized tranny mistress was even worse for me. Why did the one black guy need to be an ex con?
If you're looking for something smutty you would be better served by a copy of US Weekly.
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.
I greatly enjoyed listening to the author speak about her book on NPR, and eagerly bought the book after her segment, only to be completely disappointed. Too bad.