But her neat, buttoned-up life starts to unravel when her daughter Elena returns home, angry and unemployed, and her safe online boyfriend materializes on her doorstep. Then, the biggest challenge of all: Her independent mother, Beverly--still vital, still working, still involved with men and politics with equal passion--suffers a stroke and can no longer care for herself.
This is the story of three women: Beverly, whose strong will is suddenly frustrated by a broken body; Elena, whose life was split in two at fifteen by a scandalous tragedy; and Suzanne, who must make peace with her mother, her daughters, and herself.Suzanne Blume is not suffering from the empty-nest syndrome. Her life has never been more rewarding. The divorced mother of two grown daughters, she teaches law, has a thriving private practice, and, best of all, has been flirting online with a man she has never met.
Suzanne's addiction to the clock infuriates her offspring--indeed, Elena has deliberately "chosen to go to the other extreme, exalting spontaneity." And her mother, Beverly, remains a fiery, left-wing activist to the end, spurning such bourgeois amenities as the datebook. It's the ultimate challenge, then, for these three women to peacefully cohabit. What's worse, they're beset by a series of calamities, some shocking, some mundane. Yet this high-tension ménage à trois ultimately learns the value of mutual support and familial love. And along the way, Piercy plunges right into the deepest, most elemental stuff of life: sex, betrayal, aging, illness, and death. She's both brave and compassionate in her exploration of the volatile ground between mothers and daughters--but no less brave than the characters she has created. By the time you finish reading Piercy's 15th novel, you'll find it difficult to leave the Blumes to their own, unmistakably feminine devices. --Laura Mirsky