Mike and Laura are a perfect San Francisco couple of the 1980s. They have put the counter-culture behind them and gotten married. They believe they are in love. Everything is great. But with the arrival of their first child, they become prey to an irresistible force: a Support Group of Mothers so brilliantly organized, so demoniacally caring, so conversant with the endless rules of politically correct child rearing, that it functions like a first-class conspiracy. To say that the Stork Club comes between husband ...
Mike and Laura are a perfect San Francisco couple of the 1980s. They have put the counter-culture behind them and gotten married. They believe they are in love. Everything is great. But with the arrival of their first child, they become prey to an irresistible force: a Support Group of Mothers so brilliantly organized, so demoniacally caring, so conversant with the endless rules of politically correct child rearing, that it functions like a first-class conspiracy. To say that the Stork Club comes between husband and wife is to understate matters wildly - especially when, after the second baby, Laura goes to work and Mike emerges as the new "primary caregiver" for their children. Taking his wife's place in the group, Mike becomes a vital cog in the Stork machine. In fact, so completely does Mike come to sympathize with and entangle himself in the lives of Laura's soon-to-be-former best friends, their teetering marriages, and ultimately their sexual fantasies that a cataclysm looms on the horizon. In My Year with the Stork Club, Maureen Freely keeps us on the edge of laughter as she negotiates the minefields of marriage among the young and youngish who have raised anxiety to an art form. Irrepressible, wickedly wise, hilarious, it is social comedy at its best.
When Mike becomes involved as a househusband in a San Francisco parenting group, neither he nor his wife, Laura, imagines how this politically correct group of childrearers will affect their lives. Mike learns to make appropriate lunches, remove nits from the children's hair, and organize a car pool. In fact, he feels he's a better mother than the women of the group! The marital lives of the women deteriorate rapidly and with Mike there to comfort them, it is not long before his own marriage is on the skids. As with her previous books, Mother's Helper ( LJ 6/15/79) and The Life of the Party ( LJ 1/85), Freely has a good grasp of the trendy language of children's issues and marital conversation. This novel is witty, at times so true as to be depressing, but always interesting reading. Recommended for public libraries.-- Heather Blenkinsopp, Mercy Coll. Lib., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
Freely's latest satirical look (after the darkly comic Mother's Helper, 1979; and The Life of the Party, 1984) at modern American moms and dads—this one featuring a bumbling househusband whose marriage is destroyed by his wife's gaggle of terrifying friends. They were young, they were in love, and then they made the twin mistakes of settling into a progressive San Francisco community among rabidly procreating veterans of 60's communes, English departments, and medical schools, and themselves giving birth to not one but two kids of their own. While pregnant with their first—as Mike notes in this booklength confessional letter to Laura, his long-absent wife—they managed to laugh off such questions from fellow birth-class members as "How many of you people are planning to confine your children inside the bars of a crib?" But another child and a difficult birth later, Laura's no longer laughing as Mike trips out the front door to pursue his legal career—while she, also a law school graduate, stays home with the kids, the fires of her resentment stoked by the lunatic if ultra-politically-correct members of her mothers' support group. The pressure builds until Mike agrees to stay home himself in an attempt to save his marriage—but this new arrangement only leaves him open to increasingly intimate and neurotic entanglements with Laura's friends. Moved to sympathy and even affection for Charlotte, whose deadbeat husband is about to be audited by the IRS; Ophelia, whose spouse has been sleeping with every female in sight; and Becky, who must constantly overcome the shameful disadvantage of never having graduated from college, Mike attempts to comfort his fellow supportgroup members in the only way he knows how—until his sexual juggling act is revealed, causing a domestic earthquake whose tremors shake up the households of all concerned and that leaves Mike a sadder, if wiser, solitary man. Wickedly funny. (Film rights to Francis Ford Coppola)