Reproduction by Ian Williams
Featured on The Thread: A novel that is 'great, sometimes cringe-worthy, fun to read'
Reproduction tells a crooked love story in which love takes strange, winding paths and grows in a context shaped by community, family, longstanding friendships, and fleeting interactions that leave their mark on us forever.
Felicia, a nineteen-year-old student from a West Indian family, and Edgar, the lazy-minded and impetuous heir of a wealthy German family, meet by chance when their ailing mothers are assigned the same hospital room. After the death of Felicia’s mother and the recovery of Edgar’s, Felicia drops out of high-school and takes a job as caregiver to Edgar’s mother. The odd-couple relationship between Edgar and Felicia, ripe with miscommunications, misunderstandings, and reprisals for perceived and real offenses, has some unexpected results.
Years later, Felicia’s son Armistice—“Army” for short—is a teenager fixated on a variety of get-rich-quick schemes that are as comic as they are indicative of the immigrant son’s fear of falling through the cracks. When Edgar re-enters Felicia’s life at a typically (for him) inopportune moment, the book’s exhilarating final act is set in the motion and the full import of its title is revealed.