Suzanne Blume has known success and disappointment in equal measure. A respected lawyer who survived two marriages and put two children through college, she now faces the disquieting prospect of her wayward older daughter moving back home. But more troubling still is the news that her mother, a woman of legendary independence who has never truly accepted her daughter nor approved of her choices, has been felled by age and illness. And, for the first time in her life, she needs Suzanne's help.
Intertwining the lives of three generations of contemporary women, master storyteller Marge Piercy plunges into the deepest, most elemental basics of life -- love, aging, illness, and death -- and emerges with a brave, compassionate exploration of the volatile ground between mothers and daughters.
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