Whiteson explores a controversial topic -- incest. The novel is set in Santa Monica, California, then moves on to Spain and then into France. It is told as a fictional memoir, written by Joel Bajamonde when he is an adult. It chronicles Joels total surrender to his Mother, Leila, and her extraordinary erotic energies and unfulfilled emotional needs. Joels father, Max, is a paraplegic, injured in an automobile accident when Joel is ten and when Max, an architect is offered a job up north, the bizarre relationship between Mother and son begins. Joels life becomes more complex when he takes up with a Rory, a fellow student and, quite abruptly, Leila moves off to France where she was born. After graduating from college, Joel travels to Granada to study Spanish, Rory follows him, and then urges him to seek out and confront his mother in Paris. He does so -- and again becomes entangled in his mothers mysterious and incestuous powers! This is an intensely personal and erotic tale of a mother and her son -- and their bizarre yet mysterious relationship.
Leon Whiteson is not just renowned as an architecture critic and columnist whose essays and articles have appeared in Architectural Digest, the Los Angeles Times, Toronto Star, etc., but he is also a very accomplished novelist. As a novelist, Whiteson explores the edgy sides of experience in a bold and accessible manner.