On a wintry morning in 1974, Hank Preston makes a semen delivery to the New York Hospital Fertility Clinic. Running late, he takes the elevator rather than the stairway earmarked for such deliveries. A woman enters, the recipient of his semen, and a relationship develops that threatens to blow their already rocky lives to smithereens. To add to Hank’s problems, his transgendered boss at the Strand Bookstore is in love with him. “But I’m straight,” Hank protests. “And I’m a woman,” Joey insists.
The odd yet compelling interactions of these three vibrant characters makes for a gripping story. Hank needs to come to terms with what happened to him in Vietnam. Karen, the would-be mother, needs to clarify the difference between fantasy and reality. Joey, the sanest of the three, despite—or maybe because of—her gender mix-up, shares her wisdom and tries, somewhat unsuccessfully, to hold them all on course. Secrets are revealed as the twisting plot erupts into a fiery conclusion.
Offspring is a story of longings, thwarted dreams and the search for truth. Ultimately, it is a tale of family, and our fervent need to belong.
About MICHAEL QUADLANDSee more books from this Author
Set in post-Vietnamâera New York, Quadlandâs moving novel opens with the fastidious Henry (Hank) Preston, a sperm donor who has a long history of taking care of others, particularly women, having finished a tour of duty in Vietnam.Nov 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Offspring
A chance meeting in an elevator prompts Karen to break the rules and seek out Hank, the father of her unborn child, while another series of chance encounters establishes an awkward situation where Joey/Josey isn't just flirting with her best friend, but potentially harassing an employee.May 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Offspring