Foxybaby and The Sugar Mother by Elizabeth Jolley

With reading time at a premium due to an active 3-year-old and a high needs 4-month-old, I’m not able to dive into all the worthy books that are sent my way for review. So this will be a bit out of form for the Superfast Reader, more of an endorsement than a review, since I was only able to give these books a perusal instead of a read. But they are absolutely worth recommending, for their literary merit and sheer originality.

Foxybaby follows a writer with punk rock sensibilities through her residency at a weight loss camp for adults. The tone is blackly comic, but with a beating heart of real passion and humanity. For as grotesque as some of Jolley’s characters are, she never condescends to them. I was reminded so much of Jane Campion’s movie Sweetie–and that’s a high compliment.

The Sugar Mother is about a middle aged academic who falls in love with a much-younger woman, and then wants her to be a surrogate for him and his wife. I was less taken with this one, finding the scenario a bit distasteful, but the writing was psychologically astute and enjoyable as hell.

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