Mothers and Sons by Colm Tóibín - review by Kate Saunders

Kate Saunders

A Spaghetti-Tangle

Mothers and Sons


Picador £12.99 298pp order from our bookshop

My mother used to say (and I wish I’d listened harder) that a girl should never marry a man who doesn’t like his mother. How right she was. When that pure, fathomless well of maternal passion is poisoned, the effects will seep into a man’s relationship with every other female in his life. ‘He’ll always be waiting’, my mother said, ‘for you to turn into her.’

On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to get involved with a man who is too close to his old mother because after a certain age it’s just spooky – less Little Lord Fauntleroy than Psycho. The relationship between a mother and her son encompasses a spaghetti-tangle of primary emotions.

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