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The Sugar Mother
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The Sugar Mother

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Edwin Page, a fussy middle-aged professor, no sooner bids farewell to his obstetrician wife, Cecilia, who accepted a fellowship abroad, when his new neighbors, Mrs. Botts and her sexy, twentyish daughter, Leila, arrive. Since they're locked out of their house, Edwin invites them in-and then can't get them to leave. He becomes obsessed with Leila and convinces himself that ...more
Published (first published January 1st 1988)
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Jane Stewart
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the story of two women who insinuate themselves into the life of an unwitting man during his wife's absence. Fascinating to read it in conjunction with Susan Swingler's memoir about Elizabeth Jolley, The House of Fiction - so many ironies.
Maria Donovan
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1980s
This novel by Elizabeth Jolley was first published in Australia in 1988 and in the UK by Virago in 2000. The cover of this edition gives only an approximation of the characters in the book. Edwin is described as handsome and well-groomed. He is an indecisive and lonely intellectual not a frumpy nail-biter. The female on the cover is neither the woman who coins the term 'Sugar Mother' nor her daughter who performs the rôle. Maybe a weird hybrid of the two, with a cake.

My first impression was tha
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Elizabeth Jolley’s novels are always well worth re-reading, there is a particular pleasure in reading them for the first time. All her novels are really character-driven, always about misfits, eccentrics or odd-bods but there is always some aspect of the plot that takes the reader by surprise. It is the most delicious experience to be deep into the novel, and reasonably convinced that one has the characters worked out, only to find that they have some wholly unexpected ways of behaving. In ...more
Feb 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
When I started this book I thought it was odd, but good because it was unusual. It had been sitting on my pile for ohh about 10 years. Yet another one of the dusty remainder books from the New England Mobile Book Fair.

When the "neighbors moved in" the book took a turn from unusual to freaky! I really liked it all the same but the ending was just so-so. Maybe I'm the kind of person who just puts too much emphasis on the ending of book. Maybe I am just being a sour puss for not figuring out the e
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Jolley is an interesting writer, but this book is different from others I've read by her. It's unclear whether Edwin really has impregnated Leila or not, and this makes the book titillating and fascinating. It will linger in your mind afterward. However, the emptiness of Edwin's life--the "swinging" parties arranged by his absent wife Cecilia--are sad to read about and sad to see how caught he is in this life.
Apr 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
Brilliant writing but I regret having to read about such deplorable characters
Natalie Axton
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent characterization and eye for detail. Few writers succeed at describing moral quagmire like Jolley does with this story.
bargain = 1 of 29 books for $5.
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Jan 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Read this during my Australian period. Good story.
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Monica Elizabeth Jolley was an award-winning writer who settled in Western Australia in the late 1950s. She was 53 years old when her first book was published, and she went on to publish fifteen novels (including an autobiographical trilogy), four short story collections, and three non-fiction books, publishing well into her 70s and achieving significant critical acclaim. She was also a pioneer of ...more
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