In a Country of Mothers

In a Country of Mothers

by A.M. Homes
     
 

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No relationship is more charged than that between a psychotherapist and her patient—unless it is the relationship between a mother and her daughter. This disturbing literary thriller explores what happens when the line between those relationships blurs.

Jody Goodman enters psychotherapy with questions of career and love on her mind. But Claire Roth, her

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Overview

No relationship is more charged than that between a psychotherapist and her patient—unless it is the relationship between a mother and her daughter. This disturbing literary thriller explores what happens when the line between those relationships blurs.

Jody Goodman enters psychotherapy with questions of career and love on her mind. But Claire Roth, her therapist, keeps changing the focus of their sessions to Jody's parentage—Jody was adopted; Claire gave up a baby for adoption who would now be exactly Jody's age. As the two women become increasingly involved, speculation turns into certainty, fantasy into fixation. Until suddenly it is no longer clear just which of them needs the other more—or with more terrifying consequences.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Homes...has the ability to scare you half to death....[She is] devastating...a very dangerous writer."
Washington Post Book World

"A commanding narrative...by turns witty and unnerving, and at times almost unbearable in its emotional intensity."
Wall Street Journal

"Intriguing...captures a world spinning out of control....Homes is at her best evoking the pathos and obsession at the center of relationships between therapist and patient, mother and child, husband and wife. She is also wickedly funny. [This is] a psychologically gripping story."
San Francisco Chronicle

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In two previous books, Homes ( The Safety of Objects ) has written about people caught in the midst of change and unable (or unwilling), at first, to control or understand it. Naturally, one of her best subjects is adolescence; Jack , her first novel, tells of a boy coming to terms with his estranged father's newfound homosexuality. Here, Homes enlarges her scope with exhilarating assurance, paying equal attention to people young and mature as they pass from what they once were to whoever they must finally be. The novel concerns Jody, a frail but driven young woman pursuing a film career, and Claire, a successful, middle-aged psychiatrist who, many years ago, gave up a child born out of wedlock to foster parents. The third-person narrative shifts between the two women as Jody becomes Claire's intermittent patient and steady obsession, and the doctor, though happily married with a family of her own, becomes convinced that Jody is her long-lost child. But for Homes, this plot twist, despite its considerable suspense, serves mainly as a useful route for exploring the flux, passion and perversity of binding love. She does this with wit, skillful pacing and a sympathy for characters and their dislocations that borders--agreeably--on the uncritical. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679742432
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1994
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description:
1st Vintage contemporaries ed
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,110,316
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.60(d)

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