Monday, November 19, 2007

Three Mothers-Sonia Lambert

Three Mothers
Sonia Lambert
Berkley, Jan 2008, $14.00
ISBN 9780425219126

In 1945 Helene gives birth to a daughter, but her spouse stationed in India, writes to tell her to leave the baby with her mom as the climate is not good for a newborn. Susie travels by herself leaving Vera with her mother and her sister Lottie. On her trek overseas, Helene falls in love with a RAF pilot.

Helene's youngest daughter, Vera loves the fervor of the late 1960s as London swings, but Paris lives the passion of the era. She becomes pregnant and debates within herself what to do with the fetus she carries especially since she does the unheard of: leaving her cheating husband and return to her mom for help.

In 1996 although Vera’s second husband Steve, her sister Lottie, and her other adult child Gus are alive and well, her oldest child mid twenties Susie cares for her as she is dying from cancer. Three months after her mom Vera died, Susie is cleaning out the house and is still learning much about her mom and her maternal grandma.

THREE MOTHERS is a fascinating character study that focuses deeply into the interrelated yet separate lives of three generations of English women. The three moms are fully developed protagonists so their love and loathing of one another seems genuine. Keep plenty of tissues handy as this novel hits home as Sonia Lambert provides a powerful look at the changing roles of motherhood in the latter half of the twenty century through the lives of these three women as the cycle of death and rebirth continues with the next generation a decade later.

Harriet Klausner

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