Synopsis: When an ordinary househusband and his ambitious wife decide to start a family, they discover there's more to making a baby than meets the eye. Help arrives in the form of a grieving gay neighbor, a visiting monarch, and the dashing young lieutenant who defects from her yacht. Bittersweet and profoundly affecting, BABYCAKES was the first piece of fiction to acknowledge the arrival of AIDS.
Stats for my copy: Trade paperback, published by Harper Perennial, 2007; 326 pages; purchased.
My thoughts: In 2010 I read the first three books in this series almost back to back, and enjoyed each entry more than the previous one, and I'm pleased to say I liked BABYCAKES just as much. The cast of characters is not quite as large now (if my memory is serving me correctly), with Mary Ann and Michael both featured prominently. Mary Ann is focused on her career, while her husband Brian desperately wants a baby. He thinks Mary Ann doesn't want one, but her reasons for resisting go much deeper than he realizes. Meanwhile, Michael is mourning the death of his lover, Jon. When the Queen visits San Francisco, Simon, an officer on her ship, defects, and meets Mary Ann. Wanting to stay in San Francisco, he and Michael come to an agreement to trade apartments for a month, and Michael heads off for England, where he makes new friends and runs into an old friend from Barbary Lane.
There's laughter, intrigue, a little mystery, and the shadow of the beginning of the AIDS epidemic throughout. And I've just checked my bookshelf and am a little distraught to realize I do not yet have the next two books. So off I go to track them down!