BookSparks PR Presents: The Paternity Test

                                                          Title:  The Paternity Test
The Paternity TestAuthor:  Michael Lowenthal
Format:  Print
Length:  288 pages
Publisher:  University of Wisconsin Press
Rating:  5 stars

Having a baby to save a marriage—it’s the oldest of clichés. But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one, and having a baby involves a surrogate mother?
    Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he’s losing Stu to other men—and losing himself in their “no rules” arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers.
    As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, married to Danny, an American carpenter. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties—to Stu and his family, to Debora, to his own potent desires—and wonders: is he fit to be a father?
    In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we already have. The Paternity Test is a provocative look at the new “family values.”

My Thoughts
The "lifesaver baby" has been and continues to be the go-to solution for marriages and relationships of all shapes, sizes and configurations.  Michael Lowenthal's honest rendering of one couple's foray into the rather murky waters of surrogacy, contracts, promises, betrayals, love, and hate will appeal to anyone who has ever loved while unsure that love is enough.

Though this story is centered around Stu and Pat's desire to have a baby.  As one reads their story, deeper realizations and motivations become glaringly apparent.  Stu is a man that seeks validation, whether it be through his career or in the arms of the various partners that he beds in spite of the loyal partner that he has in Pat.
Pat on the other hand, wants nothing more than to know that his heart is safe and that he is the key to his partner's happiness.

These problems are ones that have become so common in the hetero community, that they are little more than fodder for daytime TV.
When presented in the within the parameters of a same-sex relationship and coupled with the added complication of surrogacy and the prejudices, misconceptions, and added complexities that they face; the whole experience becomes exponentially more daunting.

This book is a truly monumental work.  The characters are everyone, whether gay, straight, male, female, or transgendered. This work dare to take a brave and honest look behind the scenes of a relationship at two people's search for love, understanding, and validation...and the round about route they take to find the home that is each other.    

About the Author

  • Bats: Right.
  • Throws: Right.
  • Votes: Left.
Michael Lowenthal | Photo by John GranskyMichael Lowenthal is the author of the novels The Paternity Test (Terrace Books/University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), Charity Girl (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), Avoidance (Graywolf Press, 2002) and The Same Embrace (Dutton, 1998). His short stories have appeared in Tin House, the Southern Review, the Kenyon Review, and, and have been widely anthologized, in such volumes as Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge (HarperCollins), Bestial Noise: The Tin House Fiction Reader (Bloomsbury), and Best New American Voices 2005 (Harcourt). Three of his stories have received "Special Mention" in Pushcart Prize anthologies. He has also written nonfiction for the New York Times Magazine, Boston Magazine, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Out, and many other publications.
The recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Wesleyan writers' conferences, the MacDowell Colony, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and the Instituto Sacatar, Lowenthal has also been awarded Lynchburg College's Thornton Residency and the James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize. He has taught creative writing at Boston College and Hampshire College, and since 2003 has been a core faculty member in the low-residency MFA program at Lesley University.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Lowenthal worked as an editor for University Press of New England, where he founded the Hardscrabble Books imprint, publishing such authors as Chris Bohjalian, W.D. Wetherell, and Ernest Hebert. He studied English and comparative religion at Dartmouth College, from which he graduated in 1990 as class valedictorian.
A former board member of the literary human rights organization PEN New England, Lowenthal lives in Boston.

Where to Buy

Michael's books are available from these online booksellers and from your local bookstore. (Click IndieBound to find a bookstore near you.) | Barnes & Noble | | IndieBound (Your local bookstore)
Powells  | (Canada) |  Chapters Indigo (Canada)
This review is brought you in cooperation
 BookSparks PR

1 comment:

  1. Well, this book looks interesting.
    I have not read books about gay relationships, but I am pretty sure that it's gonna be very intriguing and a different experience, altogether.
    This book is definitely added to my TBR>
    GREAT review,
    Your reader,


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