“All My Mother’s Lovers,” by Ilana Masad (Dutton)
“All My Mother’s Lovers” by Ilana Masad is a story of queerness, love and family like you’ve never seen it before.
After the unexpected death of her mother, Iris, 27-year-old Maggie discovers five letters tucked into Iris’s will. The letters are addressed to five men that Maggie has never once heard Iris mention.
Desperate to find out who these men could possibly be, Maggie leaves behind her grieving father and brother (as well as her new girlfriend with whom she is falling madly in love) and embarks on a quest to hand deliver each letter.
Along her journey, Maggie learns she knew far less about both her mother and her father than she ever thought possible. Maggie’s relationship with Iris had always been strained, in part due to Iris’s inability to accept Maggie’s sexuality. The men Maggie meets challenge her to see Iris not only as her flawed mother, but also as a human being filled with her own complex emotions and desires.
“All My Mother’s Lovers” is a wholly unique exploration of identity, sexuality and the all-consuming power of love. Masad is a masterful storyteller who offers complex, dynamic characters that continue to surprise us until the very end.
Molly Sprayregen, The Associated Press