Consenting Adult Author:Laura Z. Hobson Laura Z. Hobson (1900-1986) is best known for the bestselling 1947 novel GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT, in which she exposes the anti-Semitism simmering under the surface of American life. But this was not her only novel, nor was it her only novel on a controversial subject. — CONSENTING ADULT concerns New York couple Ken and Tessa--liberal, intellig... more »ent, affluent, both successfully employed in the publishing industry, both happy with each other and their three children. But when youngest son Jeff informs them he is homosexual he tests not only the strength of their love for him, but for each other as well.
The focus of the novel is not so much Jeff as it is his parents and how they react to his sexuality. Seen primarily through the eyes of mother Tessa, the novel spans a decade in time in which medical, psychiatric, and social attitudes toward homosexuality begin to undergo a profound change. As such, it is in some respects a "snapshot in time;" as the novel begins, for instance, Jeff requests psychoanalysis as a "cure"--a common line of thought in the early 1960s. But the focus of the novel is less on Jeff himself than on his parents, who find themselves at odds with each other over how best to support him and how best to react to his situation.« less
This book and the movie that was based on it is the story of a young man's coming out from his mother's perspective. Laura Z. Hobson proved herself a great writer with a knack for finding issues that are important but may not exactly be alluring with her first book, Genetlman's Agreement. This is a worthy sucessor.
Since the book is now more than 30 years old it is dated in spots but it is still a worthwile read, both for a teen coming out or a family that has one.
While some progress has been made in this area, other parts of this issue are timeless. I enjoyed this read when I first encountered it and its still nice to see others dealing with problems you've faced or are facing.