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Whatever Makes You Happy by William…
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Whatever Makes You Happy

by William Sutcliffe

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When another Mother’s Day passes and friends Carol, Helen and Gillian have, yet again, not received a card or call from their 34-year-old sons, they decide it’s high time to reconnect. They make a pact to descend on their sons for an unannounced week’s stay and the result makes for a very funny, very British novel.
With mixed success the meddling mothers gain a degree of understanding about the fraught lives of their unsettled sons. Helen acknowledges Paul’s homosexuality, Gillian appreciates Daniel’s grief over the break-up of his most recent relationship and, in the most humorous and most heartbreaking scenes, Carol begins to understand Matt’s obsession with the shallow high-life his editorial job at a sleazy men’s magazine provides. Chapters told from the various points of view provide a well-rounded look at the bumps, edges and comfy zones the complex mother-son relationships afford. The reaction of shock and horror from the young men is equally as funny as the maternal concern and good intentions of the mothers are heartfelt and endearing.
With Nick Hornby-like wit and a dead-on eye for mother son dialogue, Sutcliffe has written a satisfying interpersonal relationship story that mixes humor and insight in equal doses. ( )
  stonelaura | Sep 21, 2009 |
Three middle-aged London women decide to spend one week (uninvited) with their 34-year old sons, each of whom seems to have drifted away from meaningful contact with his mum. What follows is each mother's attempt to reconnect with her son. One son seems to have no meaningful relationships in his life, one is deeply mourning the loss of the love of his life, and one is hiding the fact that he is gay (although his mother actually knows the truth). Each relationship has its share of difficulties, but each mother seeks to give her son a push in the right direction. At the end of the book, two of the mothers seem to have made some progress in their relationship with their sons. Not great literature, but a diverting enough read. ( )
  dbartlett | Jul 8, 2008 |
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Gillian, Helen and Carol, friends since their sons were babies, agree that these sons have become thirtysomething layabouts: they have no wives or children, they never call, and they seem unlikely to give up their postadolescent lifestyles anytime soon. The women agree to an outlandish plan: each mother will show up at her son's apartment, unannounced, for a weeklong visit.… (more)

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