Prodigal. If the usual role of children is to drive their parents to distraction, the preferred role for parents is to love their children no matter what. Joan London explores the parent-child relationship in her novel, The Good Parents. Maya de Jong leaves her rural small town at age 20 for a new life and job in Melbourne. As her parents, Toni and Jacob, arrive for an extended visit with her, Maya disappears. London uses that tension to lead Toni and Jacob to reflect on their youth, and the compromises and choices they’ve made throughout their lives. London mines each character for the ways in which one life needs to be abandoned before another can begin. Wandering and deep love converge on these pages, as does loss and disappointment. London’s fine writing makes the process of reflection come alive.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)