MLA Platinum Award Press Release

All My Mother's Lovers: Book summary and reviews of All My Mother's Lovers by Ilana Masad

All My Mother's Lovers

by Ilana Masad

All My Mother's Lovers by Ilana Masad X
All My Mother's Lovers by Ilana Masad
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  May 2020
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Intimacy has always eluded twenty-seven-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But when Maggie's mom, Iris, dies in a car crash, Maggie returns home only to discover a withdrawn dad, an angry brother, and, along with Iris's will, five sealed envelopes, each addressed to a mysterious man she's never heard of.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's 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.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] smart, heartfelt debut...This remarkable portrait of a daughter's opaque relationship with her mother reflects the strangeness and beauty of coming to see one's parent fully as a human being." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Where the book succeeds is in depicting queer characters as multifaceted human beings who are not defined solely by their sexuality or gender...And it's not often that fiction writers—or anyone, for that matter—depict women of middle age and beyond as beings who desire and wish to be desired. An intriguing but uneven debut." - Kirkus Reviews

"A story of good but difficult characters and the openhearted people who love them, All My Mother's Lovers is a compassionate and insightful work." - BookPage

"Ilana Masad's debut novel held my attention as early as its title, All My Mother's Lovers, which renders a wit and promise of complication that makes for exciting reading...The narrative unfolds over a funeral and shiva and will tackle identity from many angles: the familial, the sexual, the repressed, the hopeful." - Lit Hub, "Most Anticipated Books of 2020"

"A large hearted marvel." - O, The Oprah Magazine, "31 LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020"

"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

"This ambitious, deft, compassionate debut novel finds eternal truths in a very contemporary story: that even those we care for most remain mysteries to us, that our judgments of others' lives are always inadequate, that love demands heroism. Ilana Masad is an exciting talent." - Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You and Cleanness

"Masad's impressive novel delves into varieties of that strange magic, love, and of its expansive, life-shaping possibilities. All My Mother's Lovers is a debut of rare and vital generosity." - R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

The information about All My Mother's Lovers shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Ilana Masad

Ilana Masad is a queer Israeli American fiction writer, essayist, and book critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Paris Review, NPR, BuzzFeed, Catapult, StoryQuarterly,, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, as well as several others. She is the founder and host of The Other Stories podcast and a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she also serves as the assistant nonfiction editor for Prairie Schooner. All My Mother's Lovers is her debut novel.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Orange World and Other Stories
    by Karen Russell
    Karen Russell has a tremendous gift for crafting uncanny, through-the-looking glass worlds that are ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of Longings
    The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd follows the life of Ana, a woman born in the Galilean city of ...
  • Book Jacket: Master Class
    Master Class
    by Christina Dalcher
    Christina Dalcher's Master Class shows America sleepwalking into a perfectionist eventuality not ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Pronounce Knife
    How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Many examples of immigrant fiction dedicate a portion of their storytelling to exploring details of ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.