The audience for this scholarly work of literary criticism is the academic community. The title implies something perhaps more playful. I wish I could have the title myself--and am sorry I didn't think it up first!
Like everything Toibin writes, the style is masterful, the insights fresh and intelligent. It is not fiction; rather, it is a collection of essays about well-known literary works, their authors, and their characters. It is not "enjoyable" in the sense of easy-reading. This is highbrow prose for literary scholars.
Honestly, I purchased the book because I thought it would be about Toibin's personal analysis and his own mother's effect on his life & his writing. Although it wasn't what I expected, it's full of character analysis and the relationship of fictional mothers & fathers, aunts and stepmothers as well as the relationships of actual parents and their writer-children. Complex and engrossing.
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