In Victoria Redel's mesmerizing first novel, the question of what happens when a mother loves her child too much is deeply and darkly explored. Left with a small fortune by her parents and the cryptic advice, "it would do to find a passion," Redel's narrator sets out to become a mother--a task she feels she can be adequately passionate about. She conceives her son Paul through a loveless one-night stand, surrounds him with a wonderful, magical world for two--a world filled with books, music, endless games, and bottomless devotion--and calls him pet names like Birdie, Cookie, Puppy, and Loverboy. She wonders, "Has ever a mother loved a child more?" But as life outside their lace curtains begins to beckon the school-age Paul, his mother's efforts to keep him content in their small world become increasingly frantic and ultimately extreme by all definitions. In this exquisite debut novel, Victoria Redel takes us deep into the mind of a very singular mother, exposing the dangerously whisper-thin line between selfless and selfish motivation that exists in all types of devotion.