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The Paternity Test

Lowenthal, Michael (Unknown - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Paternity Test
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"Having a baby to save a marriage--it's the oldest of clichés. But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one, and having a baby involves a surrogate mother? Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he's losing Stu to other men--and losing himself in their "no rules" arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers. As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American home rebuilder. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties--to Stu and his family, to Debora, to his own potent desires--and wonders: is he fit to be a father? In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we already have. The Paternity Test is a provocative look at the new "family values."--Publisher's description.
Authors: Lowenthal, Michael
Title: The paternity test
Publisher: Madison, Wis. : Terrace Books, c2012
Characteristics: 278 p. ; 22 cm
Summary: "Having a baby to save a marriage--it's the oldest of clichés. But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one, and having a baby involves a surrogate mother? Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he's losing Stu to other men--and losing himself in their "no rules" arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers. As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American home rebuilder. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties--to Stu and his family, to Debora, to his own potent desires--and wonders: is he fit to be a father? In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we already have. The Paternity Test is a provocative look at the new "family values."--Publisher's description.
ISBN: 029929000X
9780299290009
029929000X
9780299290009
Branch Call Number: LOWENTHA M
PS3562.O894 P38 2012
Statement of Responsibility: Michael Lowenthal
Subject Headings: Surrogate mothers Fiction Gay men Fiction
Topical Term: Surrogate mothers
Gay men
LCCN: 2012009962
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Comment by: Michael Colford Dec 17, 2012

I finished this book a month ago, but failed to write a review because there wasn't a Goodreads page for it, so some of the finer points of my reading experience have grown a little fuzzy, which I'm sad about. That said, here is my best attempt to convey the complexity of emotions I felt through... Read More »


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Dec 17, 2012
  • Michael Colford rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I finished this book a month ago, but failed to write a review because there wasn't a Goodreads page for it, so some of the finer points of my reading experience have grown a little fuzzy, which I'm sad about. That said, here is my best attempt to convey the complexity of emotions I felt throughout my reading it.

At first The Paternity Test seemed like it was going to be a fairly straight-forward story of a gay couple who decide to have a child by using a surrogate. There would be the typical dramatic moments exploring issues such as having a child to save a relationship; difficulty with the surrogate, that kind of thing. In fact, I wasn't all that interested in the subject matter, and wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it. But when you get an advanced copy from the author himself, you make a point of reading it.

First thing I noticed was how compelling it was. I couldn't put the book down and read it in record time. That said, it was a very tough read for me, stirring up all sorts of conflicting emotions. For much of the book I wasn't sure I was enjoying it, and had particular trouble with the lead character, Pat. Often I was worried about the direction the book was headed in. Sometimes I had the distinct feeling that I was reading a novelization of "Days of our Lives." But by the end of the book, I was excited by the journey it took me on, the very fact that I was all over the place emotionally with the characters, yet ultimately having it be a really satisfying reading experience for me. Like parenthood, like relationships, like family, there is nothing simple about The Paternity Test; there are ups and downs, moments of melodrama, laughter, tears, anger... all the things that make a wonderful novel.

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/21 13:32