Author: Johnston, Wayne
Publisher: Knopf Canada
Year Published: 2013
Condition Rating: Slight wear, may have creased spine, folded pages, good-condition ownership stickers
Summary: Here comes Percy Joyce.
From one of Canadaâ€™s most acclaimed, beloved storytellers: The Son of a Certain Woman is Wayne Johnstonâ€™s funniest, sexiest novel yet, controversial in its issues, wise, generous and then some in its depiction of humanity.
Percy Joyce, born in St. Johnâ€™s, Newfoundland, in the fifties is an outsider from childhood, set apart by a congenital disfigurement. Taunted and bullied, he is also isolated by his intelligence and wit, and his unique circumstances: an unbaptized boy raised by a single mother in a fiercely Catholic society. Soon on the cusp of teenagehood, Percy is filled with yearning, wild with hormones, and longing for what he canâ€™t haveâ€”wanting to be let in...and let out. At the top of his wish list is his disturbingly alluring mother, Penelope, whose sex appeal fairly leaps off the page. Everyone in St. Johnâ€™s lusts after herâ€”including her sister-in-law, Medina; their paying boarder, the local chemistry teacher, Pops MacDougal; and...Percy.
Percy, Penelope, and Pops live in the Mount, home of the cityâ€™s Catholic schools and most of its clerics, none of whom are overly fond of the scandalous Joyces despite the seemingly benign protection of the Archbishop of Newfoundland himself, whose chief goal is to bring â€œlittle Percy Joyceâ€ into the bosom of the Church by whatever means necessary. In pursuit of that goal, Brother McHugh, head of Percyâ€™s school, sets out to uncover the truth behind what he senses to be the complicated relationships of the Joyce household. And indeed there are dark secrets to be kept hidden: Pops is in love with Penelope, but Penelope and Medina are also in loveâ€”an illegal relationship: if caught, they will be sent to the Mental, and Percy, already an outcast of society, will be left without a family.
The Son of a Certain Woman brilliantly mixes sorrow and laughter as it builds toward an unforgettable ending. Will Pops marry Penelope? Will Penelope and Medina be found out? Will Percy be lured into the Church? It is a reminder of the pain of being an outsider; of the sustaining power of love and the destructive power of hate; and of the human will to triumph.
In Store Location: Bookcase 26 - Classic Literature 1,