Friday, September 5, 2008

"Equal Affections" by David Leavitt

I picked up this book on a recommendation of a Squaw Valley housemate. It's a comfortable type of story that you settle into, like an overstuffed couch. It's the story of the Cooper family that's framed by the mother's battle with cancer, with flashbacks to earlier times. And it's an interesting story--two gay children, the daughter who becomes a singer/songwriter and the son who goes into law. The father's an absentminded professor, who is sometimes caring, and sometimes having an extramarital affair.

There were parts of the story, though, where I caught myself thinking, "Who cares?" Maybe because there wasn't enough of an internal clock on the story, other than the mother's cancer (and it wasn't really treated like a clock). Still, I enjoyed the scenes, enjoyed watching the characters interact.

There was a poignant scene in the hospital, where the Coopers meet a husband and wife whose very ill son is a patient. From the husband to Mr. Cooper:

"But maybe you can tell me something else, Professor. Maybe you can tell me why us instead of anyone else, any of those other people, have to be sitting here tonight, instead of at home eating dinner? And don't say God, I stopped believing when I was twelve."

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