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Mother of all loves

Author: John Wheatcroft
Publisher: New York : Cornwall Books, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Mother of All Loves both depicts the last vestiges of innocence before the onslaught of World War II and evokes the memory of that first great bewildering passion which imprints itself in most human beings for life. Thirteen-year-old Donald Pettingill comes upon thirty-year-old Lenore Horton, mother of his best friend, Arthur, sobbing on her bed one December afternoon. On the instant he falls in love with her. That
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Genre/Form: Bildungsromans
Fiction
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Wheatcroft
ISBN: 0845348493 9780845348499
OCLC Number: 28547356
Description: 169 pages ; 24 cm
Responsibility: John Wheatcroft.

Abstract:

Mother of All Loves both depicts the last vestiges of innocence before the onslaught of World War II and evokes the memory of that first great bewildering passion which imprints itself in most human beings for life. Thirteen-year-old Donald Pettingill comes upon thirty-year-old Lenore Horton, mother of his best friend, Arthur, sobbing on her bed one December afternoon. On the instant he falls in love with her. That event marks the end of his boyhood and the advent of his manhood.

His secret passion, obsessive and bewildering, now rules Donald's life. And the exotic Hortons - son, father, and especially mother - become the measure of the poverty, both material and spiritual, of the home Donald's parents provide. Envying the freedom of action and the moral latitude his friend Arthur enjoys, in contrast to the constraints his family's religiosity imposes on him, Donald rebels in spirit.

He can't help seeing that his overworked, underpaid, frazzled father cuts a poor figure when compared with the fascinating and unaccountable Mr. Horton, Arthur's father, the source of whose affluence is sinisterly mysterious. And he can't help comparing his frumpish middle-aged mother - housebound, puritanical, and oppressive - to the stylish, youthful Mrs. Horton, whose daily absences from her home intrigue and depress the lovesick Donald.

In order to glimpse the woman he secretly and futilely loves, to inhale a whiff of her perfume, or to purloin one of her lipsticked cigarette butts, Donald exploits his friendship with Arthur, participating with him in the most outlandish tricks and schemes. Unaware of his companion's fascination with his mother, Arthur instructs and leads Donald in his initiation into the world of adolescence - where Donald's old self dies and a new self is born.

Absurd as Donald's love for Mrs. Horton may be, it casts its shadow over his subsequent attempts to find love. And as he relives the experience while transforming it into words, he comes to realize that that passion arose out of a purity of emotion and generated a feeling of wonder which will never be his again.

Opening in the late thirties, the narrative portrays the time of Packards and La Salles, Philco Tilt-Front cabinet radio-phonographs, garter belts, Monopoly, and songs such as "Love Is Where You Find It" and "I Married an Angel"--Whose overtones here sound ironically.

Climactically, Donald is plunged into World War II, in which he - along with society - loses his innocence. His memoir is presented through the scrim of violence, destruction, moral dislocation, and the end of naivete precipitated by the Second World War. Elegantly written, Mother of All Loves engages the reader in the initiatory ordeal of both the protagonist and broader society.

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Linked Data


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    schema:description "Opening in the late thirties, the narrative portrays the time of Packards and La Salles, Philco Tilt-Front cabinet radio-phonographs, garter belts, Monopoly, and songs such as "Love Is Where You Find It" and "I Married an Angel"--Whose overtones here sound ironically."@en ;
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