Mother's Milk by Edward St. Aubyn
A Novel

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Writing with the scathing wit and bright perceptiveness for which he has become known, celebrated English author Edward St. Aubyn creates a complex family portrait that examines the shifting allegiances between mothers, sons, and husbands. The novel’s perspective ricochets among all members of the Melrose family -- the family featured in St. Aubyn’s widely praised trilogy, Some Hope -- starting with Robert, who provides an exceptionally droll and convincing account of being born; to Patrick, a hilariously churlish husband who has been sexually abandoned by his wife in favor of his sons; to Mary, who’s consumed by her children and overwhelming desire not to repeat the mistakes of her own mother. All the while, St. Aubyn examines the web of false promises that entangle this once illustrious family -- whose last vestige of wealth, an old house in the south of France -- is about to be donated by Patrick’s mother to a New Age foundation. An up-to-the-minute dissection of the mores of child-rearing, marriage, adultery, and assisted suicide, Mother’s Milk showcases St. Aubyn’s luminous and acidic prose -- and his masterful ability to combine the most excruciating emotional pain with the driest comedy.

About Edward St. Aubyn

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Born in 1960, Edward St Aubyn is the author of four highly praised novels, "Never Mind (winner of the Betty Trask Award 1992), "Bad News, "Some Hope and "On the Edge. He lives in London and France.
Published January 1, 2006 by PICADOR. 240 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mother's Milk

Kirkus Reviews

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(Torn between duty and matricide, Patrick ultimately complies with his own disinheritance.) The tale is told in four sections, each set a year apart, in August, when the Melrose family “enjoys” their summer vacations.

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The New York Times

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(It's also a place, the author seems to believe, where the World Series takes place in August.) The person responsible for this sad decline in Melrose family vacationing is Patrick's mother, Eleanor, who in "Some Hope" was a sodden, pill-popping American heiress, married for her money by Patrick'...

Nov 13 2005 | Read Full Review of Mother's Milk: A Novel

The Guardian

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Mother's Milk by Edward St Aubyn Picador £7.99 A novel that chiefly consists of upper-middle class people being unpleasant to one another may not be your bag, in which case, you should probably avoid Mother's Milk.

Jan 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Mother's Milk: A Novel

The Guardian

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Patrick launches caustic remarks at Seamus, who pretends not to understand them - until he consolidates his possession over the house and evicts Patrick.

Jan 14 2006 | Read Full Review of Mother's Milk: A Novel

The Bookbag

From the powerful opening sequence in which Robert Melrose describes his own birth, to the hilarious interlude when a drunken Patrick tries to replace a bottle of whisky on his hosts drinks trolley, St Aubyn doesn't put a foot wrong.

Nov 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Mother's Milk: A Novel

London Review of Books

‘Are you baying at the moon, or working out the meaning of life?’ ‘Neither,’ said Patrick, ‘there’s too much baying in this valley already, and we worked out the meaning of life years ago: “Walk tall and spit on the graves of your enemies.” Wasn’t that it?’ ‘No, no,’ said Johnny.

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Irish Times

Jack Davenport is well cast as Patrick and the late Margaret Tyzack is touching as his frightened, ageing mother.

Dec 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Mother's Milk: A Novel

Time Out New York

Everyone knows that Philip Larkin line: ‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad.’ For Patrick Melrose, the anti-hero of English novelist Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical books, it’s truer than most: his adult life is haunted by a harrowing childhood and his monstrous father.

Nov 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Mother's Milk: A Novel

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