Edward St. Aubyn lays open the conflicts roiling the Melrose family: There’s Patrick, livid that his mother, Eleanor, has decided to leave her house in the south of France to a bogus New Age guru; Patrick’s wife, Mary, worn paper-thin by motherhood; and their two sons, small but astute observers of it all. Over three Augusts in France, the boys watch as the family slowly but inexorably falls apart. Eleanor’s health declines, Mary grows ever more consumed by her children, and Patrick, increasingly angry with both Mom and marriage, cheats on his wife. Mother’s Milk is a small portrait, not a sweeping one, but told with slicing British wit.
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