One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory, Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love (Review)

May 11, 2011

Book cover for "One Big Happy Family" edited by Rebecca Walker.Title: One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory, Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love

Editor: Rebecca Walker

Publication Year: 2009

Pages: 288

Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays

Source: Purchased from Chapters

From the cover:

Edited by bestselling author Rebecca Walker, this anthology invites us to step into the center of a range of different domestic arrangements and take a good look around. From gay adoption to absentee fathers, from open marriages to green-card marriages, the reality of the American household has altered dramatically over the last three decades. With changing values and expectations, fluid gender roles, and a shifting economy, along with increase in infertility, adoption, and the incidence of mixed-race couples, people across the country are redefining the standard arrangement of family life. In a collection of eighteen honest, personal, and deeply affecting essays from an array of writers, One Big Happy Family offers a fresh look at how contemporary families are adapting to this altering reality.

A year or two ago, I spotted a copy of this book in the bargain section of a local Chapters, and immediately snatched it up. I don’t know why it was marked down to bargain pricing, but my only regret is that I didn’t get around to reading it sooner.

This book is a collection of essays written from very diverse perspectives. It touches on a variety of non-normative family structures and situations, including single parents, poly families, adoptions, fertility treatments, and straight people marrying gay people to keep them from being deported to a country where they won’t be safe.

Each and every essay in this book made me think more critically about what the word “family” means in our society.

I don’t want to go into too much detail, because I think that each person who reads One Big Happy Family is bound to come away from it with their own insights, lessons learned, and points to ponder. I’ll just say that you should really find yourself a copy, even if you are part of a “normative” family, because it will teach you so much about different people around you and the things we can learn from them.

Rating:

3 Comments

  • Helen Murdoch May 11, 2011 at 9:02 am

    How wonderful that someone is celebrating all sorts of families. As someone who lives in a “different” living situation (me, my daughter, and my parents) it’s great to know that an author is celebrating families, however they look.

    • Carina May 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

      I know, I love it! I can’t believe I waited this long to get around to reading it.

  • Tria May 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Thanks for mentioning this. I’ll have to read this.

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