Mothers and Sons is a sensitive and beautifully written meditation on the dramas surrounding this most elemental of relationships. Psychologically intricate and emotionally incisive, each finely wrought story teases out the delicate and difficult strands woven between mothers and sons. This is an acute, masterful and moving collection that confirms Tóibín as a great prose stylist of our time.
'Colm Tóibín is a writer of extraordinary emotional clarity. Each of the nine stories is a snapshot of a point of crisis . . . Tóibín perfectly understands the instantaneous nature of the ideal short story; the sense that the pen is going straight into a major vein. These are beautiful stories, beautifully crafted’ Kate Saunders, Literary Review
'The last story in this excellent collection is a superbly powerful tale of betrayal and desertion. Quintessential Tóibín’ Spectator
‘Moving . . . beautifully captured moments of longing and loss . . . Tóibín is a subtle, intelligent and deeply felt writer’ Guardian
'By turns surprising and illuminating, always beautifully written, Mothers and Sons places Tóibín in the front rank of modern Irish fiction . . . It may not be going too far to suggest Irish fiction has found its first Master of the new century’ Scotland on Sunday
Mothers and Sons is a sensitive meditation on the dramas surrounding this most elemental of relationships. Psychologically intricate and emotionally incisive, each of the nine stories focuses on a moment in which an unspoken balance shifts; in which a mother and son do battle, or experience a sudden crisis, thus leaving their conception of who they are subtly or seriously altered.
‘It’s truly remarkable that a writer of Tóibín’s great felicity, immense seriousness and general large awareness – a writer so naturally gifted as a novelist – can deliver short stories of such subtle empathy and brilliance. He’s dazzling’ Richard Ford
‘Tóibín is a master of understated emotions. From wintry landscapes, bereft of human life, to crowded pubs filled with musicians, every scene has the ring of truth’ Mail on Sunday
‘All the stories share a miraculous density. Short but weighty, they contain whole lives’ Sunday Times
‘Subtly and exquisitely written, the language never forced but utterly rooted in real worlds. Each story is haunting and memorable’ Dermot Bolger, Evening Herald
‘Some of the most accomplished and nuanced soundings contemporary fiction has to offer’ New York Times