My Mother's Lovers Paperback – Aug 1 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
The sprawling ninth novel from South African Hope (Kruger's Alp, etc.) pursues a son's adoring, adversarial relationship with his legendary mother and with South Africa as it changes over his lifetime. Alexander, born in 1944, returns to postapartheid Johannesburg to distribute the effects of his mother, Kathleen Healey, formerly a devil-may-care Karen Blixen–era big-game hunter. Alexander isn't sure who among the motley uncles who floated through his mother's life is his father, and readers see a lot of Kathleen's laissez-faire parenting as young Alexander, in retrospect, is subject to it. As the novel flashes back and forth in time, there's also Koosie, a mixed-race orphan boy taken under Kathleen's wing who later gets swept up in the black power movement. (Alexander becomes an itinerant air-conditioner salesman.) Kathleen, dying of cancer, makes a last-ditch attempt to marry a much younger Cuban refugee of Castro's regime and help spirit him to safety. Later, we meet Cindy, a Coloured woman now playing the rich Jo'burg dolly-bird, who worked with Kathleen at a shelter for handicapped kids and is overwhelmed by Kathleen's personality. Hope allows Kathleen to come through clearly, and individual episodes are suffused with Alexander's lifelong ambivalence. His portraits are skillful, but the novel doesn't fully jell. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
As the only child of a single woman, Alex Healey has many competitors for his mother's love. Men, certainly, but they run a distant second place to her greater passion, which is flying the cerulean skies above the African continent she calls home. Part Karen Blixen, part Amelia Earhart, with a smattering of Annie Oakley thrown in for good measure, Kathleen Healey is a larger-than-life character with equally outsized appetites, whether hunting game, aiding political renegades, or enjoying unorthodox relationships with native tribes. As soon as he is able, Alex flees Africa, traveling the world to distance himself from his indomitable mother. When Kathleen dies, Alex is forced to return to a country he no longer recognizes to carry out the terms of her will and to confront the unlikely legacy she's left him and everyone whose lives she has touched. With a heady mixture of contempt and compassion, respect and regret, Hope offers a lush homage to a politically turbulent and historically complex land. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.