This novel is apparently a bit of an autobiography for Lawrence, because it is said that he wrestles with 'a serious and intimate emotional problem - his relationship with his mother'. If the character Paul Morel was based on Lawrence (or at least his feelings for his mother), then the love-hate relationship he had with his mother was extreme.
The cover of the novel, interestingly, features a phoenix. Is this Lawrence, born again out of the dying flames of his love for his mother?
The pose was very unique - descriptions were often in the language of love. The characters were very sensual, and sexually repressed, so they seemed to find everything in Nature to be very sexual. It caused vivid images for me, and was very refreshing.
The character development was fantastic, with descriptions of the characters' violent swings in emotions shocking but realistic. I am getting sick of perfect characters is books, who don't have extremes, and are too two-dimensional. The characters in Sons and Lovers jumped out of the page and danced and gyrated around the room!
Paul is cruel to himself and the women in his life. He is loyal to his mother only, and the sexual love of a woman does not hold him like the deep love he has for his mother.
It certainly isn't an uplifting story, but very deep and reflective.