The Son Of A Certain Woman by Wayne JohnstonThe Son Of A Certain Woman by Wayne Johnston

The Son Of A Certain Woman

byWayne Johnston

Paperback | May 6, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 105 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Longlisted for the Giller Prize and a national bestseller from one of Canada's most acclaimed, beloved storytellers: The Son of a Certain Woman is Wayne Johnston's funniest, sexiest novel yet, controversial in its issues, wise, generous and then some in its depiction of humanity.
     Percy Joyce, born in St. John's, Newfoundland, in the 50s is an outsider from childhood, set apart by a congenital disfigurement. Taunted and bullied, he is also isolated by his intelligence and wit, and his unique circumstances. Soon on the cusp of teenagehood, Percy is filled with yearning, wild with hormones, and longing for what he can't have--wanting to be let in...and let out. At the top of his wish list is his disturbingly alluring mother, Penelope, whose sex appeal fairly leaps off the page. Everyone in St. John's lusts after her--including her sister-in-law, Medina; their paying boarder, the local chemistry teacher, Pops MacDougal; and...Percy.
     The Son of a Certain Woman brilliantly mixes sorrow and laughter as it builds toward an unforgettable ending. Will Pops marry Penelope? Will Penelope and Medina be found out? Will Percy be lured into the Church? It is a reminder of the pain of being an outsider; of the sustaining power of love and the destructive power of hate; and of the human will to triumph.
WAYNE JOHNSTON was born and raised in the St. John's area of Newfoundland. His #1 nationally bestselling novels include The Divine Ryans, A World Elsewhere, The Custodian of Paradise, The Navigator of New York and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, which will be made into a film. Johnston is also the author of an award-winning and bestse...
Title:The Son Of A Certain WomanFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:448 pages, 8 × 5.16 × 0.92 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.16 × 0.92 inPublished:May 6, 2014Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345807901

ISBN - 13:9780345807908

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't go there While I'm willing to give most authors a chance, especially Canadian writers, I will never read another one by this writer. The characters were unlikable and the plot was convoluted and confusing at the best of times. I will never get back the time I spent reading this book!
Date published: 2018-07-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Chronic Compromising I like a plot to move along steadily - not to stall repetitiously, without insight. The main characters compromise constantly, based largely on hopelessness - and unwillingness - to seek more and better. At page 75, I decided to stop charting their chronic unresolved realities. Eleanor Cowan, author of : A History of a Pedophile's Wife
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Found it somewhat dry at times.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Son of a. Certain Woman Not what I thought it would be. Just a story, not really inventive. I thought there would be more to his torment.
Date published: 2015-05-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed As a fellow Newfoundlander I am very disappointed that the author chose to use the "N" word. Use of such derogatory and offensive language is not necessary and I've stopped reading the book as a result. I feel sickened that wasted my money and supported this author's book sales. There should have been a warning provided by Kobo or the author regarding the derogatory language.
Date published: 2015-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this book! This book was great. It was funny, shocking and a little bit naughty.
Date published: 2014-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A total departure for Johston Irreverent, heartbreaking, morally challenging, and funny. A fine balance of the simple and the confounding. Loved it.
Date published: 2014-10-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very slow and boring.. I am a huge fan of Wayne Johnston so looked forward to reading his new book. I tried to get to fifty percent with the hope that it improved. I am disappointed to say that it didn't. Good luck to others.
Date published: 2014-06-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very slow and boring.. Is there going to be a Book 2? I ask this because there was no conclusion to the story. Also The book focused on the sexual thoughts of a very young child, encouraged by his mother and aunt. Not what I expected.
Date published: 2014-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Son of a certain woman Very well written. An interesting read.
Date published: 2014-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Son of a Certain Woman Written with humor and much truth. Loved the writing and wish to own all Wayne Johnston`s work.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Son of a Certain Woman I found this book rather dull. It took me a while to get into; somehow I just couldn't buy a classroom of 5-year-olds calling each other "n*gger lips", or an eight year old boy having frank discussions with his mother about her sex life. The book contains a lot of detail: of St. John's, of churches, of people, but little action or movement. The first half of the book only kept me reading to find out if the main character will ever get laid or see his mother naked (his main preoccupation throughout the whole book). The second half gets a little more interesting with Brother McHugh, head of Percy's school, trying to mess up Percy's family life, but then things get bogged down in church-related matters and the books driving question becomes, Will Percy get baptized? To which I answer, who the hell cares? I'll admit I skimmed through portions of the book since Johnston's writing style didn't grab me, his humour was not all that humourous, and his characters not too believable. It struck me overall as a second-rate John Irving story, without the charm. On a side note I wasn't shocked or offended by the mother-love theme. I've read books that have dealt with more shocking subjects after all. I guess I though the theme was treated a little too casually. Also, this book really makes you want to go out and punch a priest in the face. If you didn't have a high opinion of the Catholic church before, this book will do little to change your mind.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Son of a Certain Woman I thought this book was funny, entertaining and well written! Looking forward to reading another of Wayne Johnston's books.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Son Of A Certain Woiman This is one vulgar senseless book and not worth the time it takes to get through the profanities. And most pages are filled with them. This is simply Wayne Johnston's worst book by a mile. His others are infinitely better and worth reading
Date published: 2013-12-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Son of a Certain Woman Loved it until halh way, shame on you for your take on the Church!!! Loved your writing until this book and only writing about incsest and hatred for the holy church
Date published: 2013-10-28

Editorial Reviews

FINALIST 2014 – Stephen Leacock Award"Wayne Johnston's genius for extravagant storytelling soars to new heights in The Son of a Certain Woman." —Nancy Wigston, Toronto Star "Johnston is the kind of storyteller who can go well past the point of believability with his tale, yet still give the reader a true sense of the history and flavour of his hometown of St. John's, and say something essential about human nature while he's at it." —The Gazette "Percy, despite his psychological peculiarities, has a captivating voice that won't be soon forgotten in Canadian literature." —Salon"[A] boisterously engaging coming-of-age story. Dialogue and conversation propel much of a story that's intelligent, funny and sexy." —Winnipeg Free Press