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“The boys” are Adam and Huck, former college roommates. A decade out of college and just as long out of touch with each other, they are reunited when Adam arrives to share Huck’s apartment on Russian Hill in San Francisco.
“Their baby” is Christopher, Huck’s entrancing almost-one-year-old son, whose mother is nowhere in evidence and, at first, much to Adam’s befuddlement, mysteriously unmentioned.
The story centers on Adam as he sets out to construct a life for himself in the unfamiliar city. He assumes his new job as an English teacher at a fancy private school, where one of his students develops an obsessive (and disturbing) interest in him. Adam coasts into simultaneous affairs with two women: one of them a striking, locally celebrated chanteuse, and the other a physics teacher with a distinctive footwear fetish.
As the city and its denizens—women and men, gay and straight, young and old—make Adam welcome in various and telling ways…as he approaches a certain peace with his past (through letters to and from his riotously enraged ex-girlfriend and his hugely intimidating mother)…as living with the baby and the baby’s father exerts a profound influence on Adam…as the story of the baby’s missing mother dramatically unfolds…we watch Adam come to surprising terms with his life and himself.
The Boys and Their Baby is a wonderfully entertaining novel of domestic and sexual manners, 1980s San Francisco-style, marking the debut of splendidly gifted novelist Larry Wolff. less