ANOTHER MOTHER by Ruthann Robson


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 A first novel from New York City law professor Robson, author of two story collections (Cecile, 1991; Eye of the Hurricane, 1989), creates an original incarnation of the '90s superwoman myth. Angie Evans wants it all: high-powered career, loving relationship, thriving child, happy home. A formidable trial attorney at Futures for Families, Inc., she takes on controversial (and doomed) cases defending lesbian mothers who may or may not have killed their children, as well as more mundane but often equally doomed custody battles with heterosexual fathers. With her longtime girlfriend, fellow attorney Rachel, Angie is also co- parent to the adopted, precocious Skye. And through it all she is haunted by Claire, her manipulative and clinically depressed mother, who serves as an omnipresent reminder of Angie's troubled childhood in a poor mining community. The heart of the story is Angie's struggle to forge a balanced life in the face of a world that has always tried to make her conform to a comprehensible stereotype. As she works within the confines of her Type-A personality to combine all the loose threads of her life, Walter, a gay, ambitious receptionist-turned-paralegal, and Roger, who has a female ``inner voice'' named Octavia, provide effective comic relief. Kim, though, the closeted college intern with whom Angie has a brief affair, is an inexplicable component; her sexual harassment claim, filed when Angie ends the fling, is never resolved, and the affair itself strikes a dissonant chord. By the end, an anticlimactic near-death accident allows Angie to come to peace with her mother, lover, daughter, and colleagues and realize (albeit far too effortlessly) that love, not success, makes the world go 'round. Rough edges throughoutslow to start up, an ending that doesn't workbut, overall, a thought-provoking and modern story that respects its characters' differences.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-13431-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1995