Book Description

Family happiness was a subject Robb Forman Dew believed she understood in all its complexities. And then one spring day her older son, home from his first year away at college, told her that he was gay. In THE FAMILY HEART she navigates deep emotional waters in order to accommodate this knowledge, turning her attention to her own husband and two sons, all of whom were suddenly navigating uncharted territory. Over the space of the following year the four of them unwittingly began a process of evolution as a family--of love and enlightenment that left not one of them untouched. What happens when parents find out their son or daughter is gay or lesbian? There is no literature available--no advice books, no self-help tomes--even now, that alerts expectant parents to remain flexible as their children discover their sexuality. Mrs. Dew finds herself enraged by her ignorance about a subject that sometimes is of life and death importance. She excoriates the doctors who were the revered advisers of her day: Dr. Spock, and Dr. Terry Brazleton, for failing to pass on possibly life-saving information about which they were well aware. This is an important book for all sorts of reason, but it is invaluable for expectant or current parents of any child in the world. Robb Forman Dew's account of that moment of revelation in her life, and of the subsequent journey she makes with her family from confusion to clarity, is a book everyone should read. In this extraordinarily honest and often amusing examination of maternal, familial, and communal attitudes toward homosexuality, Robb Dew not only wrestles with her own mistakes and dreams, but moves us to reflect on the American attitude in general. Although THE FAMILY HEART was written in 1994, this book is perhaps even more relevant in today's changing culture and divisive political atmosphere.A New York Times Notable Book "With generosity and perception, Robb Dew first takes us into her home and into the heart of her family and then leads us with her eloquent prose into experiencing how it feels to discover another part of being human. THE FAMILY HEART is eloquent in the best sense."--Gail Godwin "Amen from any mother, every mother."--Anna Quindlen, The New York Times "At the heart of this memoir lies a true epiphany: the author's sudden, galvanizing awareness of the suicidal consequences of homophobia. It is a chilling moment, and it is described with a writer's eloquence and a mother's rage...Dew's intense imagination, combined with her ignorance of homosexuality, was as much a hindrance as a help, and it is to her credit that she has recorded the occassionally wacky assumptions and painful readjustments of her own odyssey with such care and humor."--The New Yorker