THE SUGAR MOTHER book cover The Sugar Mother 1988
Cover illustration by Richard Ross and Nasia Vlassopoulos

Dustjacket synopsis:
"An aging but handsome university professor, Edwin Page, is married to Cecilia, a much younger woman who is an obstertrician and gynaecologist. (He was attracted to her in the first place by all the mysterious things she knew about the human body.) When the childless Cecilia goes away for a year's study leave, Edwin finds himself more and more in the company of Leila and her mother who live next door. Leila's mother is a very good cook, and Leila, it turns out, is perfectly willing to be a surrogate mother...

"The Sugar Mother explores the way the many little impacts of distance, separation and change can gather force and move people in unexpected directions. It is a witty, disturbing story of self deception and of hopes, perhaps secret hopes."

"an unsettling and dexterous novel of extremely high order" - John Weyland, West Australian
"It makes a striking companion piece to The Well...Both novels deal very severely with men, but in neither is the ruthlessness of the female of the species a pretty sight." - Margaret Harris, Australian Book Review
"her warmest novel, her most moving and possibly the best introduction to her fiction." - Stephen McCauley, The New York Times Book Review

First Paragraph:

"The Old Country!" Buffy said. They were still standing but would have risen if they had been sitting down.

"To Home. Here's to Home. Down the hatch. The Old Country!"

"The Queen!" Buffy was inspired. "God bless the Queen."

From the Penguin paperback edition, 1989.

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Last modified: March 25, 2001.