Michael Lowenthal
The Paternity Test
August 17, 2019 Comments.. 163
The Paternity Test Having a baby to save a marriage it s the oldest of clich s 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 po

  • Title: The Paternity Test
  • Author: Michael Lowenthal
  • ISBN: 9780299290009
  • Page: 127
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Having a baby to save a marriage it s the oldest of clich s 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 losHaving a baby to save a marriage it s the oldest of clich s 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.

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      Published :2019-08-17T01:29:54+00:00

    1 Blog on “The Paternity Test

    1. Liviania says:

      Before I began reading THE PATERNITY TEST, I read a review from Roof Beam Reader's Literary Others event that worried me. Geoff (The Oddness of Moving Things) was turned off the book from the beginning due to a line that struck him as misogynistic. Despite being forewarned, I read right over that line.The prospective parents in THE PATERNITY TEST are Pat and Stu, two men looking to save their marriage. Their relationship began to erode as Pat became more jealous of Stu's extramarital partners an [...]

    2. missy jean says:

      Full of compassion and bravery and stubborn, persistent humanity. And the ending absolutely floored me with its honesty.

    3. Michael says:

      I finished this book a month ago, but failed to write a review because there wasn't a page for it, so some of the finer points of my reading experience have grown a little fuzzy, which I'm sad about. That said, here is my best attempt to convey the complexity of emotions I felt throughout my reading it.At first The Paternity Test seemed like it was going to be a fairly straight-forward story of a gay couple who decide to have a child by using a surrogate. There would be the typical dramatic mom [...]

    4. Eleanor (The Book Hammock) says:

      Took me about 24 hours to stew with my thoughts on this story.I'll start by saying it's a damn good one. Lowenthal took a pretty straightforward and predictable premise and threw us a curveball.Pat and Stu, a gay couple struggling with their commitment to each other decide they want to have a baby. The magic solution to married life, right? Well, no. Their motives behind wanting a child are somewhat touching and understandable, but not necessarily right. I guess that's subjective, though.They le [...]

    5. Michael says:

      Into the final third of "The Paternity Test", it struck me that I was almost done with the book, and there was still no happy ending on the horizon. When the final word was read and the final page was turned, with only a facile sense of closure for our protagonist, that's when it hit me: this is a great book.It's not that unhappy endings automatically make for great stories, but Lowenthal's characters are so complicated, and the consequences of their actions so real, that it stunned me he wrote [...]

    6. Jenn says:

      This book was just okay. The writing was enjoyable although the plot seemed a bit far-fetched. I felt that the author didn't know what to do with the characters once he got them to a certain point and just washed his hands of all of them. Not the ending I would have chosen

    7. Lilac Wolf says:

      From Lilac Wolf and StuffThis book is full of flavor. You feel their excitement at having a baby, but as you get in deeper and understand the relationship these men havewell, it's less black and white. I thought it was a brilliant portrayal about how our motivations aren't always so simple.In the opening of the description it talks about the cliche, "having a baby to save the marriage." And that is what all their friends think is going on. And really, it kind of is. For one of them. For the othe [...]

    8. Kate Savage says:

      People I trust love this book. But it didn't work for me. Can we blame my anti-natalism? (I think the main characters want children to immortalize themselves, rather than because they actually want to care for a vulnerable creature. Am I supposed to feel bad about how difficult it is for them?)Or how about my overactive feminism? (It's one thing for the flawed characters to treat this woman as a womb. But it seems like the author did sort of create a character who is a womb. I kept thinking I wa [...]

    9. Laura says:

      Why this book?I came across The Paternity Test in a NetGalley newsletter and when I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read the book. It wasn’t the fastest read, and it didn’t grab me until the last fifty or so pages.Real, Complex CharactersThe novel is narrated by Pat, one-half of a gay couple on the rocks who decides the answer to salvaging their relationship is to have a baby. He and his partner, Stu, move to Pat’s childhood home in Cape Cod and start looking for a surrogate. Pat and St [...]

    10. Geoff says:

      This book did not get off to a good start with me; ending your first chapter referring to the potential birth mother of your child as just ‘the womb’ really bothered me. I felt it was incredibly misogynistic, an accusation two of the main characters made towards each other later in the book, but I also felt it was too jarring in the beginning of the story and put me on edge for the rest of the story.I do feel that Lowenthal developed the characters further than that first chapter gave them c [...]

    11. Kim says:

      This book put me through a range of emotions, most of them negative: anger, disgust, and frustration, to name a few. After reading only a few chapters, I had come to the conclusion that none of these folks needed a child in their lives and that feeling remained throughout the book. Stu, the sperm donor, was awful. Who locks a four-year-old who has to pee out of the bathroom because he's in there trying to whip up a sperm sample? Does someone like this really need to be a father? I don't think so [...]

    12. Simone says:

      I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This was a very unusual novel for me, but rather interesting. In a way, I wondered if Pat was actually bisexual but chose a life with Stu. The things Pat had put up with for years from Stu was just unreal. Then they try to start over in Cape Cod, you can’t get more opposite of the big city than that. I think the desire for a child was more Pat’s need to be a daddy. You can see it in the relationship he has with Paula. The [...]

    13. Michael Estey says:

      The Paternity TestAuthorMichael LowenthalBook ReviewTwo gay men, Stu and PatLiving on Cape Cod.A model couple.Decide they want a child.They enlist a heterosexual woman as a surrogate.After, meeting with her and her husband, Debora and Danny they sign all the necessary legal documents.Pat and Stu decide to use Stu's sperm.After several attempts, she doesn't get pregnant. Pat decides to take matters in his own hands, the story unfolds.A good read, ending with an unexpected twist, that honestly lef [...]

    14. Kim Alkemade says:

      Having a baby to save a relationship may be a familiar trope, but here it is told in a fresh way when the relationship is between two men trying to find their way back to an authentic commitment to one another and having a baby involves the added complication of a surrogate and her husband. A worthwhile and engrossing novel.

    15. Christopher Castellani says:

      I love everything Michael Lowenthal writes, and this book was no exception. The plot doesn't go where you think it's going to go, and yet by the end it all seems inevitable and satisfying. Lowenthal gives us and honest and candid depiction of life - not just "gay life," but real life.

    16. Jane E says:

      Dated. Not very well written. Not believable. Got it free and it was worth about what I paid for it.

    17. Amy says:

      Meh. Fine, reasonably written, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

    18. Ashley says:

      Slow as molasses! Full of stereotypes and cliches, this is a novel that should have been excellent but fell flat instead.

    19. Dede says:

      Just okay. I didn't like the writing style and couldn't really get into it. I made it about halfway through.

    20. Jenn Leiker says:

      Enough people have written about the basic plot and characters of this novel that I don't feel the need to rehash it for you here. That said, this is an important read, in my opinion, for those completely or relatively new to the emotional lives of people who identify as GLBT. It's a novel about sexuality, fidelity, and romantic love that was not at all what I expected. It expanded my empathy, which is what you hope for with any novel (I'd hope).Here's why I think this is an important book. To s [...]

    21. Jodi says:

      Michael Lowenthal has created an emotionally compelling read sharing the determination that drives a childless couple longing for a family. With several LGBT couples in my life who have experienced the often frustrating road to having a child of their own, I was immediately drawn to the book having read the synopsis. I found myself captivated by the depth of emotion Lowenthal has written into his characters bringing them to life from Fade in to Stu and Patrick. The couple is struggling to gain a [...]

    22. Charlotte Lynn says:

      Pat and Stu, a gay couple, decide they want a baby to complete their family. Their relationship is in a rough spot right now and are hoping a baby will make their bond stronger. With Stu flying across the country as a pilot and having hook-ups in each city he visits and Pat being faithful. Yes, they have an open relationship. It is easy to understand why they are having problems. But is a baby the answer?As I started reading the Paternity Test, I thought wow this is pretty straight forward. Two [...]

    23. Samantha March says:

      I received a copy of The Paternity Test in exchange for an honest review. This book was an eye-opener, definitely something I have not yet read. The main characters are Pat and Stu, a gay couple who has decided they want to try for a baby. They really want to find a surrogate mother and use Stu’s sperm, and find luck upon them when the meet Debora, who seems to be a great fit. But over time, Pat finds himself drawn to Debora and has some difficult decisions to make – and questions to answer. [...]

    24. Rebecca says:

      I felt like this book tried to be all intellectual liberal east coast elitist, but underneath it was just trash. The lead characters were a bit of trash and only focused on the fake and not the real. I know the author was just trying to make them flawed and some people might have liked that. but I did not. I think I just want things to be more fairy tale then real sometimes, to a degree. The one thing I liked is that there wasn't a true happy ending and it wasn't a true pregnancy story. It was m [...]

    25. Shay Williams says:

      THE PATERNITY TEST is a no holds barred look at a long term gay relationship who is attempting to add a child by using a surrogate mother. Told from Pat's point of view we learn about the stress and tensions that both he and Stu undergo as they are waiting to hear that they are about to be a father.I really enjoyed the book as it gave me an inside view of a different type of loving committed relationship. While a lot of the dynamics are the same a lot are not. And I am not just talking about the [...]

    26. Jim says:

      Michael Lowenthal brings the problems of a gay couple, and their decision to have a baby via a surrogate, to new light in the age of "gayby" trends.Flawed and often funny, Stu and his partner, narrator Pat, have moved to Cape Cod into his parents' summer home. While memories of his youth compare with the present day, they pick Deborah, a Brazilian woman to birth their child. Her husband Danny, while only a part of the story, is one of many characters given a fresh and realistic portrayal, full o [...]

    27. Michael says:

      Lowenthal is a master wordsmith. His novels are so strained, clipped, pasted and perfected that they are lyrical, like long poems. One senses the agonizing over each word, plucked from a vine heavy with several pretenders. One surmises that any subject would be secondary to the poise and play of the words themselves. That being said, there's no armoring oneself against this one: the characters are determined cliches filled in by all-too-real details that prick and poke the reader, daring him to [...]

    28. Karen says:

      I'm shocked at all the great reviews here. I thought this book was terrible. I didn't believe in any of the characters, I found the relationship between Pat and Stu to be depressing, I thought the plot was predictable and boring, and frankly I'm sick of stories about gay people having straight affairs. Debora was a completely romanticized character. The adoption and Jewish themes were offensive. The end was unsatisfactory. There may have been some small moments of interesting writing, but on the [...]

    29. Spencer Keasey says:

      Sadly a rather self-loathing unrealistic yet stereotypical portrayal of a gay relationship. Did I say far-fetched? I've spent 25+ years in two committed gay relationships; this couple was rather pathetic and gives those of us in honest hard-working gay relationships something to steer clear of. But hey, if you're looking for a trendy subject of gays and surrogates, you might enjoy. You might also be better off watching 'The New Normal' to at least get a few laughs at the gays and their antics.

    30. Corene says:

      A gay couple moves to Cape Cod and begin a search for a surrogate mother, leading to a complicated tangle of relationships and emotions. The novel explores Jewish faith, cultural divides, sexual identity and family, along with the consuming strains of a fertility quest. I loved the beachside setting, the unexpected turns taken in what could have been a pedestrian plot, and am surprised there is not a larger readership for this topical book.

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