Friday, April 24, 2009

Selfish love.

I was trying to decide whether to pick up Victoria Redel's Loverboy or her more recent novel. At first I was going to go for the more recent one (whose name escapes me right now) because it sounded more interesting to me, but remembering that Vivian had reviewed Loverboy and had liked it, I decided to go with it.

Loverboy is about a mother who conceives her son through a one-night stand. Purposely. And she loves him a little too much. When he starts pulling away from her at a school age, she has a hard time coping. The book looks at the fine line between unconditional love and selfish love.

I really have mixed feelings about the book. I thought the writing was wonderful, beautiful, lyrical. But I found myself really uncomfortable with the subject matter, which was probably the point, but it was pushing the envelope to a point where I wasn't really able to be sympathetic to the protagonist. Her almost incestuous love for her child is really disturbing, as it's meant to be, but it alienated me a bit. I wondered if part of it was that I myself am not yet a mother, and I wondered if a mother could relate a little bit better how somebody less emotionally stable might love someone so much, it might become selfish to an extreme. Instead, I found myself making judgments, something I really didn't want to be doing.

I did think the writing was good, so I probably will still pick up her next book, where the subject matter seems like it might alienate me a little less.

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