My Mother's Lovers by Joy C. Passanante
(Western Literature Series)

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Lake Rose Davis is the only child of former hippies who settled in a small Idaho mill town in the late 1960s. Her parents' eccentric lifestyle makes Lake an outcast among the children of the town, and the unspoken tensions among the adults of her parents' small social universe puzzle and disturb her. She ponders the pattern of her mother's infidelities and the mysterious resentment between her mother and her grandparents far away in St. Louis, and between her mother and her aunt, a conventional career woman relentlessly in search of love.

As a teenager, Lake joins her grandparents in Missouri, and spends her youth seeking answers to her questions about the past and trying to understand the complex pattern of betrayals that shaped it. Only when she herself becomes party to a betrayal as devastating as any committed by her mother does Lake begin to understand the past, and herself.

Passanante has created memorable and moving characters, and she writes with a keen eye for the details of behavior that reveal the yearnings and fears beneath the surface. As her story moves back and forth between the distant past and Lake's present, Passanante shows us that the path to understanding is never a smooth one, and that love is often far more complicated and multi-textured than we can imagine. My Mother's Lovers is rewarding and engaging reading, a first novel of unusually satisfying maturity.


About Joy C. Passanante

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Passanante has spent more than half her life in northern Idaho. She is the recipient of two fellowships from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. She is associate director of creative writing at the University of Idaho.
Published March 1, 2002 by University of Nevada Press. 232 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The star of the novel is Lake's mother, Mimi, an extravagantly narcissistic painter whose closest relationships are with Dyl, her oldest friend, and Graceanne, a Native American woman who works in a local beauty parlor.

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