Everything That Rises Must Converge
How we cite our quotes:
The law of it was to sacrifice herself for [Julian] after she had first created the necessity to do so by making a mess of things. (60)
What mess did Julian's mother make? Why does Julian resent the fact that she put him ahead of herself? A little backstory would help—but we kind of like that we're just dropped into the middle of things.
All of [the mother's] life had been a struggle to act like a Chestny without the Chestny goods, and to give [Julian] everything she thought a Chestny ought to have. (60)
A lifetime is a long time to struggle, especially when it's to support someone else. Maybe she's more of a saint than the cold-hearted racist Julian makes her out to be.
The tide of darkness seemed to sweep him back to her, postponing from moment to moment his entry into the world of guilt and sorrow. (121)
We get the feeling that whatever will happen to Julian's mom, isn't going to be pretty. For the first time in his life, Julian may indeed find out what real suffering is. And maybe she's going to teach him a lesson, instead of the other way around.