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Author(s): Mona Simpson

Location(s): California, New York City (NYC)

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 1970s

When Diane Aziz drives her oldest son, Walter, from LA to college, it will be her last parental act before falling into a deep depression. A single mother who believes that her children can attain all the things she hasn’t, she’s worked hard to secure their future. But when she enters hospital, her closest friend must keep the children safe and their mother’s dreams for them alive.

At Berkeley College, Walter discovers a passion for architecture just as he realises his life as a student may end for lack of funds. Back home in LA, his sister Lina works in an ice-cream parlour while her wealthy classmates prepare for Ivy league schools, as she wages a high-stakes gamble to go there with them. And Donny, the little brother everybody loves, begins to drift towards a life on the beach, where he falls into an escalating relationship with drugs.

A resonant story about family, duty, and the attendant struggles that come when a parent falls ill, it honours the spirit of imperfect mothers, and the under-chronicled significance of friends. With Commitment, Mona Simpson has written her most important and unforgettable novel.

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