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All My Mother's Lovers  By  cover art

All My Mother's Lovers

By: Ilana Masad
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman,Ilana Masad
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Publisher's Summary

One of...

  • Electric Literature’s "Most Anticipated Debuts of Early 2020"
  • O, the Oprah Magazine’s "31 LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020"
  • Publishers Weekly’s "Spring 2020 Literary Fiction Announcements"
  • BuzzFeed's "Most Highly Anticipated Books of 2020"
  • The Millions' "Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2020 Book Preview"
  • The Rumpus' "What to Read When 2020 Is Just Around the Corner"
  • LGBTQ Reads' "2020 LGBTQAP Adult Fiction Preview: January-June"
  • Lit Hub's "Most Anticipated Books of 2020"
  • BookRiot's "Must-Read Debut Novels of 2020"
  • Bitch's "27 Novels Feminists Should Read in 2020"
  • Harper’s Bazaar's "14 LGBTQ+ Books to Look for in 2020"
  • NewNowNext’s "11 Queer Books We Can’t Wait to Read this Spring"
  • Cosmopolitan's "12 Books You'll Be Dying to Read this Summer"
  • Salon’s "The Best and Boldest New Must-Read Books for May"
  • Lambda Literary’s “Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books of May 2020"
  • The Rumpus' "What to Read When You Want to Celebrate Mothers"

"A queer tour-de-force.... Compelling and astonishing." (Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things)

Intimacy has always eluded 27-year-old Maggie Krause - despite being brought up by married parents, models of domestic bliss - until, that is, Lucia came into her life. But when Maggie’s mom, Iris, dies in a car crash, Maggie returns home only to discover a withdrawn dad, an angry brother, and, along with Iris' will, five sealed envelopes, each addressed to a mysterious man she’s never heard of.

In an effort to run from her own grief and discover the truth about Iris - who made no secret of her discomfort with her daughter's sexuality - Maggie embarks on a road trip, determined to hand-deliver the letters and find out what these men meant to her mother. Maggie quickly discovers Iris’ second, hidden life, which shatters everything Maggie thought she knew about her parents’ perfect relationship. What is she supposed to tell her father and brother? And how can she deal with her own relationship when her whole world is in freefall?

Told over the course of a funeral and shiva, and written with enormous wit and warmth, All My Mother's Lovers is the exciting debut novel from fiction writer and book critic Ilana Masad. A unique meditation on the universality and particularity of family ties and grief, and a tender and biting portrait of sex, gender, and identity, All My Mother's Lovers challenges us to question the nature of fulfilling relationships.

©2020 Ilana Masad (P)2020 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

Critic Reviews

"A debut that explores sexuality, family trauma, and grief - after our main character’s mother dies in a car crash and leaves mysterious letters to five different men - but it's all packed in a smart, funny package." (Entertainment Weekly)

"This probing, beautiful debut novel by Ilana Masad is an intimate meditation on grief, identity, love, and inheritance.... [A] daughter's journey to realizing her mother was also a woman, and a tender tribute to the power of forgiveness, understanding, and hope." (Refinery 29)

"Ilana Masad’s All My Mother’s Lovers is a stunning excavation of the profound destabilization of grief, the secrets that twist like vines around the root system of a family, and the terror and grace of learning to be vulnerable before others. Maggie and Iris, the daughter and mother that sit at this novel’s heart, are both indelible, with a bond that not even death can demolish. A giant-hearted and sharply funny debut." (Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel)

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What listeners say about All My Mother's Lovers

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  • Overall
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Best love story wver

Rarely does a book challenge our understandings of the perfect union while affirming our hopes for unconditional love. The performance was excellent. Thank you for such a good read.

5 people found this helpful

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Decidedly queer and not gimmicky

This is an enjoyable book. The author did a great job of bringing the characters to life. Maggie is just good enough to like and flawed enough to be a real person. The relarionships read as real, though the portrayal of Peter goes too close to perfection. Iris is somewhat mysterious. You want to like her, but need to know more, and the laters slowly peel back. It stalls a bit on Maggie's journey when things move much slower, but it is a nice, fairly light read/listen. The narrator is great and does a good job of voicing the different the men differently from the women.

3 people found this helpful

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sewn together with a big fat thread

the reader for the audible version was very good. The writing, though, is another story.

2 people found this helpful

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Not only good for young adults…

Wonderful character study and a way to learn about love—family love, lesbian love, asexualoty, pansexuality, and straight love. Not the lovemaking but the love. The acceptance and the heartbreak. Well done! Well narrated!

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It was OK...

Different kind of story maybe more of the LGBTQ community would appreciate as one character was a lesbian, another was transvestite, someone was polyamorous....
The narrator kinda ruined it for me, I don't know how to describe it but it seemed like every sentence was a run on sentence or something? This book was just ok imo.

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Deeply Moving

This book very nearly made me cry in the airport multiple times. A wonderfully written and constructed drama about legacy, loss, love, family, tradition, and the deviation from it - delivered from the first hand perspective only a queer writer could bring to these topics so many of us share complicated feelings for. Masad masterfully crafts a raw and compelling story that I cannot recommend highly enough.

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enjoy

lovely story. It made me think of my family in a different way. thank you

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Lost interest early on, didn't finish.

Writing was sub par in my opinion. Stopped fairly early on, couldn't get into it.

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Twists + Turns

I was not prepared for the ending of the book, but I loved that her daughter learned more about her mother’s past and saw her in a different light. The love between the family members is palpable.

I would recommend this book for those that love fiction and so much anticipation for what will come next that you listen way longer than planned.

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my favorite so far!

I loved every single thing about this book. the story line was great and the reader did such a good job. It's definitely the best book I've listened to.