Any Other Family

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Pub Date 12 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 12 Jul 2022
PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam's Sons

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The New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters returns with a striking and intimate new novel about three very different adoptive mothers who face the impossible question: What makes a family?

Though they look like any other family, they aren’t one—not quite. They are three sets of parents who find themselves intertwined after adopting four biological siblings, having committed to keeping the children as connected as possible.

At the heart of the family, the adoptive mothers grapple to define themselves and their new roles. Tabitha, who adopted the twins, crowns herself planner of the group, responsible for endless playdates and holidays, determined to create a perfect happy family. Quiet and steady Ginger, single mother to the eldest daughter, is wary of the way these complicated not-fully-family relationships test her long held boundaries. And Elizabeth, still reeling from rounds of failed IVF, is terrified that her unhappiness after adopting a newborn means she was not meant to be a mother at all.
As they set out on their first family vacation, all three are pushed into uncomfortably close quarters. And when they receive a call from their children’s birth mother announcing she is pregnant again, the delicate bonds the women are struggling to form threaten to collapse as they each must consider how a family is found and formed.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters returns with a striking and intimate new novel about three very different adoptive mothers who face the impossible question: What makes a...

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ISBN 9780593328545
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Featured Reviews

This book had me by the heart strings from the very beginning. As a young parent I am very familiar with the constant anxieties and debilitating pressure to be the perfect mom.

We follow the perspectives of three moms of different ages and widely different personality types that adopted children who are siblings. These women are now reluctantly each other's family. They attend family dinners on Sunday and now a two week family vacation that has been planned by Tabitha, To Ginger and Elizabeth, Tabitha come off as pushy, judge, and perfect and this has instilled insecurity and resentment that has been bubbling beneath the surface since they became this unconventional family unit. Thy are all trying to navigate motherhood and this new dynamic. Each mom brings her own past baggage to their relationship which airs itself out on their, meant to be relaxing, family vacation. As family drama tends to do,

The stress felt by each of three moms feels so familiar because I’ve been through it. I know how what it’s like to never feel good enough for your kids. To feel as though you’ll never be good enough to live up to parental examples made by the mothers around you. Mothers tend to feel like failures when they need help.

The main themes of this book are to stress the importance of our family (whoever that might be to us), and how they should be people we can rely on to help us through the hardships of motherhood. I will read this book over my over again whenever the mom life starts to wear on me! I want every mom to read this book!

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ANY OTHER FAMILY is not just any other family drama.

The story follows four biological siblings and three sets of adoptive parents who vow to raise the children together despite living in three different households.

Tensions run high when this unconventional family takes their first summer vacation together. They receive a surprising call from the children’s biological mother announcing she is pregnant and looking for a family to adopt her baby.

Interspersed throughout the novel are brief excerpts from families that are seeking to adopt. I love the representation of the varied experiences of people looking to build their families through adoption and the emphasis that each story is different. The author’s note is incredibly thoughtful and touches on additional issues surrounding adoption that weren’t covered in the story.

As an adoptive mother herself, author Eleanor Brown brings her own authentic perspective to the story. Her novel raises interesting questions about what constitutes a family, motherhood expectations and the complexities of living in community.

RATING: 4.5/5 (rounded up to 5 stars)
PUB DATE: July 12, 2022

A big thank you to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Review will be posted to in advance of publication date

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This is a fast paced book that you won’t be able to put it down. It explores the dynamics of a family through adoption. It’s clear the author knows how that works and did her homework on the matter. It’s a great read with engaging characters.

Thank you NetGalley and Putnan for my ARC

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Wow! I loved this book. Eleanor Brown ruminates on what makes a family through a story of a large, unlikely family- three sets of adopted parents and their adopted children who are biological siblings. I found myself in so many of the characters- especially new mom Elizabeth who is navigating infant hood and Tabitha who lives to help and organize. Eleanor Brown was so insightful in the way she talked about what it means to be a mother and a family. This book had me stopping and thinking multiple times, and will stay with me. This would be a great book club book and reminds me a lot of Jodi Picoult in the topic.

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BOOK REVIEW: Any Other Family by Eleanor Brown
Talk about a modern blended family. Four siblings and three sets of parents = FAMILY. This book tells the story about how three adoptive sets of parents become ONE family for the sake of keeping siblings together. Tabitha, Ginger and Elizabeth are three totally different mothers who have set aside their differences so that their children can grow up alongside their biological siblings. That is until a two-week family vacation which sends them all over the edge. With the announcement of a new baby on the way from the biological mother, Brianna, the mothers are given the task of choosing the new set of parents to join their “Family”.  Tabitha, the control freak, Ginger, the one who fears any kind of change, and Elizabeth, the young exhausted new mom are facing their own inner struggles and the story is told through each of their viewpoints.  Honestly, all three of these women drove me a bit crazy at the beginning… but by then end of this book, I wanted to know more.  This was a funny and heartwarming story about the struggles of motherhood and how important family is, no matter what it may look like.
This book is out July 11!  Thank you to NetGalley and Putnam Books for gifting me an advanced copy!  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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