Hospital treatment

Mother trouble: Commitment, by Mona Simpson, reviewed

There is more than one way to read the title of Mona Simpson’s seventh novel Commitment, a multigenerational family saga set mainly in California in the 1970s and 1980s. There is the ‘hospital commitment’ Diane Aziz, a single mother of three teenage children, needs after sinking into a deep depression shortly after her eldest, Walter, starts at UC Berkeley. Then there is the commitment Diane’s children show to their mother – and to one another, as they struggle through life, love and loyalty to each other while hoping Diane will one day leave her hospital compound. And there is also the deeper commitment between Simpson, who was born in Wisconsin