Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review: Paternity Test by Michael Lowenthal

I love when I start a book and don't really know what I'm about to get myself into. Somehow it happened that I skipped the description and was happily clueless when I first cracked open The Paternity Test, by Michael Lowenthal, and dove in. I never do that, which must be a testament to my exhaustion of late, however I'm glad I deviated from my norm. Obviously, the title offers a clue. But it's not what you might think.

There is a love triangle, but an unconventional one to say the least. The story is about becoming parents, but the real focus is on the relationship between the parents, and not on parenting or babies. I hate to give away too much, because it was fun to read without knowing the basis of the story. In fact, I may have already said too much.

Written ever so poetically, The Paternity Test delves into the complexities of long term relationships; what makes them tick and what has the power to make them implode. Anyone who has ever made a conscious decision to become a parent probably recalls that heady feeling of ohmyGOD I'm doing this, I'm doing this, I'm doing this, and the associated, overwhelming euphoria, coupled with can't-turn-back-now panic. Lowenthal captures that with his beautifully, realistically flawed characters. But he goes much further. And then, what comes next? Now that the decision is made, what becomes of the couple? Is it possible for them to remain essentially the same, or are they inevitable drawn into the tide of change? Furthermore, what happens when procreating isn't as simple as A+B=C? There are so many variables, so many possibilities.

I recommend The Paternity Test, as an off the beaten track love story, a humanistic view of how people connect to one another when they are unexpectedly tossed into the flow of life together, a recounting of how people stay together and break apart...change and stay the same.

1 comment:

Liz Parker said...

Sounds like a good read!