The Son of a Certain Woman
Percy Joyce, born in St. John's, Newfoundland, in the 50s is an outsider from childhood, set apart by a congenital disfigurement. Taunted and bullied, he is also isolated by his intelligence and wit, and his unique circumstances. Soon on the cusp of teenagehood, Percy is filled with yearning, wild with hormones, and longing for what he can't have--wanting to be let in...and let out. At the top of his wish list is his disturbingly alluring mother, Penelope, whose sex appeal fairly leaps off the page. Everyone in St. John's lusts after her--including her sister-in-law, Medina; their paying boarder, the local chemistry teacher, Pops MacDougal; and...Percy.
The Son of a Certain Woman brilliantly mixes sorrow and laughter as it builds toward an unforgettable ending. Will Pops marry Penelope? Will Penelope and Medina be found out? Will Percy be lured into the Church? It is a reminder of the pain of being an outsider; of the sustaining power of love and the destructive power of hate; and of the human will to triumph.
FINALIST 2014 – Stephen Leacock Award
"Wayne Johnston's genius for extravagant storytelling soars to new heights in The Son of a Certain Woman."
—Nancy Wigston, Toronto Star
"Johnston is the kind of storyteller who can go well past the point of believability with his tale, yet still give the reader a true sense of the history and flavour of his hometown of St. John's, and say something essential about human nature while he's at it."
"Percy, despite his psychological peculiarities, has a captivating voice that won't be soon forgotten in Canadian literature."
"[A] boisterously engaging coming-of-age story. Dialogue and conversation propel much of a story that's intelligent, funny and sexy."
—Winnipeg Free Press