Entwined: Essays on Polyamory and Creating Home

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Pub Date Feb 19 2024 | Archive Date Jul 31 2024

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Description

In a series of genre-blending essays, Entwined tells the story of Alex Alberto’s decade-long polyamorous journey toward a new kind of family.

In these essays, Alex:

  • attempts to build two committed relationships at once, though everyone involved is new to non-monogamy

  • develops a powerful bond with the woman their partner loves

  • comes out to religious in-laws at a tense Thanksgiving dinner

  • questions the need for rules and hierarchy in their relationships

  • experiences the intensity of a triad

  • wrestles with the fragility baked into the nuclear family after their father’s stroke

  • and embraces their queerness and gender identity in New York, while reconciling the tension that arises with their native French-Canadian language and culture.

Entwined dances in the fuzzy lines between friendship, romance, and family using various essay forms, including a play, an advice column, and a love letter. As in other memoirs of consensual non-monogamy, Alex's polyamory brings unique challenges, but rather than wallowing in the throes of jealousy, this collection celebrates the hard work of creating a love life that resists conventional narratives.

In a series of genre-blending essays, Entwined tells the story of Alex Alberto’s decade-long polyamorous journey toward a new kind of family.

In these essays, Alex:

  • attempts to build two committed...

Advance Praise


"Entwined is a goddamn bible for poly-curious people."
—Chloe Caldwell (she/her), 37, questioning author of Women, Legs Get Led Astray, and The Red Zone: A Love Story


"Entwined is about the desire to create a life outside of capitalism, heteronormativity, and the patriarchy."
—Samantha Paige Rosen (she/her), 33, queer and monogamous writer (e.g., Slate, The Rumpus, Shondaland)

"The variety in content and structure makes it a quick read. Entwined deepened my understanding of polyamory’s possibilities; it’s not all swinging and sex parties."
—Melissa Gopp-Warner (she/her), 43, queer/questioning and monogamous writer (e.g., HuffPost, Publishers Weekly, Salon)

"Entwined shows us a non-monogamy we haven't seen before. Sex is beside the point; polyamory is a quiet revolution that makes romantic love one of many tools for building queer family."-- Don Edmondson, PhD (he/him), 44, queer polyamorous psychologist

"For Alex, polyamory is about creating a family. By getting to know them and their reality you gain entry to a world that might otherwise seem intimidating."
—Sofia M. (she/her), 64, mother of a polyamorous person

"Entwined had me captivated from start to finish. It will no doubt influence my approach to romance and family."
—Rio C. (she/her), 21, queer, trans, and curious about polyamory

"I laughed, cried, and felt my heart fill the fuck up."
— Dan D. (they), 36, queer and newly navigating non-monogamy within a lifelong partnership.


"Entwined is a goddamn bible for poly-curious people."
—Chloe Caldwell (she/her), 37, questioning author of Women, Legs Get Led Astray, and The Red Zone: A Love Story


"Entwined is about the desire to...


Marketing Plan

About the author: Alex Alberto (they/them) is a queer and polyamorous storyteller, publisher, and educator. They grew up in Montreal and currently live in upstate New York. Their essays have been published in Huffington Post, Write or Die Magazine, and elsewhere; their plays have been featured at Dixon Place and Theatre Row in New York City. Alex founded Quilted Press as a publishing collective with two other queer authors in 2022.

Website: alexalberto.com

Instagram/TikTok: @thatalexalberto

About the publisher: Quilted Press is a collective of independent authors. Quilted books queer traditional narratives of love, family, and identity—to offer new visions of ourselves and the future.

Website: quiltedpress.com

Instagram/TikTok: @quiltedpress

Recent media appearances (Podcast/Radio):
No One Like You (11/1/2023) -- Entwined: Alex Alberto on Polyamory and the Art of Creating Home
Memoir Land (10/13/2023)—Publishing Books as a Collective


***Book Tour (February 2024)***

Kansas City, MO: Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference
February 8, 10, 11 | 9am to 5pm

Come see Alex and author Caroline Shannon (Mother-Eaten: Notes on my Postpartum Body and Identity) at the Quilted Press table at AWP! You can buy their books and get them signed. You will also find K.G. Strayer’s Stellar Nursery: On My (Trans) Body and My Choice.  

Indianapolis, IN: Entwined reading at Tomorrow Bookstore
Tuesday, February 13 | 7pm

As part of the Midwest book tour for the Entwined launch, Alex will be joined by author Adrian Shirk (Heaven is a Place on Earth: In Search of an American Utopia). Book influencer Nathan Shuherk (Schizophrenic Reads) will moderate a conversation and Q&A.

Chicago, IL: Entwined reading at City Lit Books
Thursday, February 15 | 6:30pm

As part of the Midwest book tour for the Entwined launch, Alex will be joined by author Lauren Emily Whalen (Tomorrow and Tomorrow) at City Lit Books in Chicago. Readings will be followed by a conversation, Q&A, and book signing.

Cleveland, OH: Entwined reading at Mac’s Backs
Saturday, February 17 | 7:30pm

As part of the Midwest book tour for the Entwined launch, Alex will read excerpts from Entwined at Mac’s Backs—Books on Coventry in Cleveland. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

Delhi, NY (Catskills): Entwined reading at The Lost Bookshop
Saturday, February 24 | 5pm

Come hear excerpts from Entwined at The Lost Bookshop, in the beautiful town of Delhi in the Western Catskills in Upstate NY. Alex will be joined by author Adrian Shirk (Heaven is a Place on Earth: In Search of an American Utopia). The reading will be followed by a conversation moderated by Adrian, a Q&A, and book signing.

Brooklyn, NY: Entwined reading at Books Are Magic
Thursday, February 29 | 7pm

Come hear excerpts from Entwined at Books are Magic (Montague location) in Brooklyn. Alex will be joined by author Chloé Caldwell (Women), and writer/musician Aly Tadros (who will perform publicly for the first time in 4 years!). The reading will be followed by a conversation, Q&A, and book signing. Tickets cover the price of a book ($20), or a gift card ($10).

About the author: Alex Alberto (they/them) is a queer and polyamorous storyteller, publisher, and educator. They grew up in Montreal and currently live in upstate New York. Their essays have been...


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Average rating from 38 members


Featured Reviews

I burned through this book. It’s unlike the other recent polyamory memoirs I’ve read. It’s queerer (there’s a section on the author’s gender identity that is unexpected from the title, and very moving/enlightening, and the types of love/relationships described are beautiful) and less “couple-focused” than recent books about open marriage/non-monogamy. It’s hilarious in parts, like when the author describes the different ways they react to polyamorous experiences in the early years vs later. It also made me reflect on some assumptions about relationships that are just “in the air” but may not be true. The author is not dogmatic or preachy, they just show their lives experience in a way that’s super accessible. This book will stick with me!

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Alberto’s work gives voice to underrepresented identities, polyamorous, genderqueer, and immigrant, and the myriad ways these identities intersect with each other make the essays all the more interesting to read. The essays themselves are excellent written, shifting styles to maintain attention while always remaining rich in detail and emotion. The two that stand out most to me were “scenes from a polyamorous coming out on thanksgiving” and “queer en français,” as each made me think about polyamory and queerness in ways I hadn’t previously.

As with any collection of essays, I thought some were stronger than others in terms of writing, but together they provided full coverage of Alberto’s lived experiences that I think would be hard to replicate in any other fashion. I learned much about identities I previously knew little, and I think many will value the authentic representation present in this book.

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This series of essays on Alex Alberto’s polyamory journey was everything I could’ve hoped for and more.

The writing was unflinchingly honest, and never shied away from sharing the messy bits. I found the commentary on hierarchical relationships and ensuring the compatibility of poly styles amongst partners to be particularly interesting. For me, there was a clear theme about leaning into abundance over fear and scarcity.

I also found the author’s eclectic approach to the essays refreshing, with each adopting a different style - one even in the form of a play. Generally they were great, although some were more difficult to follow, notably when the second person perspective was used predominately.

The order of the essays made sense, and I loved how the author’s exploration of their gender parallels (with a lag) their journey with polyamory and their increasing confidence and ease within it.

Most of all, I loved how the existence of this book and the experience reading it felt so normal and right (yay queer love and gender diversity!). Yet I know having these intersecting experiences represented in literature is relatively few and far between.

After reading I dived deep into the journey of Quilted Press and discovered two more incredibly exciting forthcoming books - which I hope to be able to read soon.

This book blew my socks off. And made me cry. I’m a queer and genderfluid person. I love stories like Alex’s. They are stories of people like me. Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of writing with the world.

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Entwined is a tender and playful addition to my polyamorous library. One of the first, I’d say, genuine stories of love and life as a polyamorous human that is: not a how to, does not attempt to give advice, nor pushes any ideology. Here we get to know Alex’s personal wanderings in a non monogamous life, and it is beautiful! I may be biased as a non monogamist, but I think that the stories and experiences Alex shares can be inspirational to anyone who practices any relationship types! They take down barriers, notably mononormativity, heteronormativity, rigid gender binaries, to create a life that is fulfilling and abundant. When you get down to it, isn’t that what love is all about!? Devotion to love freely, feel good, and have fun is what I found in these pages and I recommend to anyone with an open heart to indulge.

Many thanks to Quilted Press and Netgalley my ARC

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I absolutely loved reading this book. It felt in many ways like a queer, polyamorous version of Everything I know about love. Alex so openly and lovingly discusses her life and relationships, as well as the challenges finding a sense of family in a society that views monogamy as the only appropriate relationship format.

There were a few times when I was a little confused by the timeline, but once you are familiar with the names this becomes a nonissue

No matter your preferred relationship format, I think everyone has something to learn and to gain from reading entwined

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I found this book compelling from the beginning. I enjoyed the variety of genres the author played with in some of the essays. I laughed in places and cried in others. There were many things I found relatable, and appreciate the author communicating about their experiences so openly. I especially found the discussion about the challenge of language limitations in relation to gender to be very interesting and enlightening. I have already recommended this book to multiple people!

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Alex Alberto’s memoir is a love letter to everyone who has ever felt different. They so sweetly put into words the unspoken questions that tug at my own heart and offer a version of what loving courageously looks like. I am full of gratitude for the opportunity to read a book about polyamory that doesn’t feel like a self-help/how-to. I am also grateful for the portrayal of “Maman” and her own courageous love. As much as we need more positive non-monogamous literature, queer people are craving representations of affirming families.

Thank you Alex Alberto for this gift and thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.

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This book is beautiful. The author really gives all of themselves, and the result is an honest, gorgeous look at their life.

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Beautifully written eye opening look at Polyamory a life style I did not know much but found a fascinating topic in this book.The authors essays are so well written engaging ita times emotional at times fascinating an excellent read.#netgalley #entwined.

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—Thank you so much to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the chance to review an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this collection. It was my first time reading an essay collection in this topic instead of a fiction based novel. I loved the beautiful writing style. And it was quite informative.

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This book is a delight.

Polyamory is not a facet of my life, but the desire to find or create deep, meaningful family and community is. Alex recounts their journey of self-discovery in a humble, yet unique voice. Their story is utterly relatable, and I would argue that anyone would be able to find themselves in these pages.

Not only is it a glimpse into a way of living that I have never experienced, it helped me see some of the ways that traditional ideas of love have shaped my own identity and heartbreaks over the years. The discussion of how each different type of love is important, distinct, and powerful is beautifully crafted and essential for us to have.

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As someone who has been indoctrinated since birth into monogamy, I could never really understand being with more than one partner at a time. As someone with abandonment issues, crippling anxiety and relationship trauma from the past, most of the tenets of polyamory seemed always painful. Not to forget how polyamory is used as a convenient excuse to avoid commitment by most folks around or get themselves threesomes.

Alex Alberto's (@thatalexalberto ) book, therefore, is my first ever book for understanding and familiarizing myself with polyamory. And it was absolutely unputdownable.

I'm in awe of Alex's clarity of thought, the ability to articulate those with such lucidity, their charming wit, and disarmingly unflinching candour, even as they navigate through their vulnerabilities and muddled emotions.

The book is a compilation of Alex's essays about their own journey in polyamory, the challenges they faced, the love and positives they experienced, the community they built. The book doesn't follow a timeline, but it follows themes like coming out, polyamory in public places and govt organizations, breakups, attractions, tricky situations etc. Alex also talks honestly about the power of English language in their journey, and about how heritage, culture and the requirement for mother tongues to be inclusive, play such a definitive role in identities.

When Alex narrates the episodes with their partner's parents, one feels the intensity and tension rise upto one's throat. I had to keep the book aside for a while before picking it back up. They make an interesting choice of not capitalizing the Ms and Ps of the words maman and papa for their own parents. I have always seen them written in capital. And that's why it feels intentional. They talk in detail about how difficult it's been for them to make friendships because of their queerness.

They also reimagine popular monogamous movies as polyamorous. It is a side observation that it looks like we root more for only those that have sufficient pain and suffering, and somehow fail to imagine or probably even want to see a world where all parties are truly happy and content.

I've learnt so many new words, I am super grateful for that. Metamour, compersion, polycule, Zuntie. Eye-opening.

I also learnt that there are certain things that enable a successful polyamorous lifestyle. It is way more difficult than monogamous relationships. Monogamous relationships are ok if they're working for you, but most times folks become lazy and bored in monogamy at some point (honestly I've seen way too many extremely problematic monogamous relationships). They start looking for the zing outside, which is a sure shot formula for the relationship to crumble. Alex, therefore, presents a beautiful thought. They implore us to ask ourselves if it's fair to put all the pressures of a good relationship on one single person or to take all that pressure on us. Would this not cause resentment eventually?

Having said, Alex also draws from their own experiences some clear facts that have worked for them.
Knowing yourself well (and sometimes one doesn't know what one wants until one has had to face something one doesn't want), having enough earning to navigate two homes or different cities / states in order to be able to be present for partners, having enough words to have enough conversations about your desires and needs and wishes (this requires immense reading and researching), finding folks with whom you can freely navigate through even the bitter emotions.

It is a bit scary and plenty complicated and not many are brave enough to embark on such a journey. If done properly though, it looks like a great response to capitalism's obsession with individualism.

I am going to explore books on polyamory to learn more - some of them Alex speaks about and some more. I am incredibly thankful to Alex for writing this and would definitely look forward to reading more of them.

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gorgeous set of memoirs about polyamory. i really liked the way this was written. tyssm for the arc.

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More and more, polyamory is becoming a topic of discussion, as an alternative to monogamy. Non-monogamy is characterized by flexibility, change, and openness. There are various forms of relationships as diverse as the individuals who seek connection with others. In their book, the author Alex Alberto invites the reader to become a companion on their journey of relationships and identity, allowing us to question whether non-monogamy is a way of self-exploration.

I have paired the reading of this book with another essay by a Spanish author (not translated into English) titled "Superemocional," where the author writes: "To love is not to surrender but to yield," emphasizing the act of yielding to others, to lovers, to friends, and so on. The essay proposes that loving involves embracing dependency. Both the concept of surrendering and depending on others are present in Alberto's narrative. Characters like Alex, Don, Cara, Aly, Sophia, and Lukas let themselves go, surrendering to their partners and embracing change. However, they also acknowledge the vulnerability that comes with emotional dependency, setting boundaries around jealousy, discomfort, demands, and emotions.

The first essay offers a chronological map to guide the reader through the evolution of the author's partners, their changing relational identities and statuses. The book then allows for flexibility in the temporal organization of the essays. This constant back-and-forth, with its unanswered questions, is what characterizes the book and undoubtedly serves as its greatest strength. In the end, the reader feels as though they have truly accompanied Alex and their partners on this bewildering journey of self-discovery.

I haven't read much theory about non-monogamy, but what I have read is often more focused on the abolition of the traditional family structure, as seen in Sophie Lewis's "Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation." This is a more political proposition that challenges the organization of the family. While Alex Alberto's book explores the idea of an open, flexible, and changing family, it may fall short in terms of political commitment. Essays like this are based on individual and subjective experiences, but I believe it is important to emphasize the political implications of our personal choices. By emphasizing that monogamy is just as valid a choice as non-monogamy, I believe the political value of choosing non-monogamy is diminished. In this aspect, although I understand its personal nature, the book lacks a theoretical and political foundation to define its approach to relationships.

However, "Entwined" is a fantastic read because it is not simply a collection of stories, but rather, it offers a lesson at the end of each essay. The book is filled with uncertainties, open-ended narratives, and the overarching question of how Alex's family will continue to change, evolve, and expand, as well as their identity as a non-binary or bisexual-pansexual individual. Reading "Entwined" is like walking alongside Alex, learning, questioning, and making mistakes together.

Thanks to Quilted Press and Netgalley for the advance copy for review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Quilted Press. This book was so poignant and thoughtful, challenging readers to deconstruct the fundamental basis of relationships through the author's own experiences. I found myself rejoicing with their wins and breakthroughs and struggling through their grief and heartbreak. The essays were powerful and dovetailed together beautifully, with the author's own voice maturing over the course of the prose. Highly recommend this read for anyone questioning or curious as a beautiful approach to polyamory and chosen family.

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*Thanks for the ARC*

This book is so well written and compelling. Each section shed light on a different 'what if' question I have regarding polyamory. And while it is a singular experience, as someone who doesn't know much if anything about non-monogamy, this was such a wonderful way to learn, experience, and contemplate my own feelings about the concept of relationships and love. Truly consumable and honest.

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This essay collection is candid, brave, hopeful, and full of heart. We need more conversational and complex queer reads on the shelves of every bookstore! So glad to have Alberto as an emerging voice and I look forward to their future works!

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I absolutely loved this book and needed it a lot.

Fictional books that have polyamorous romance I have read quite a bit by now. But as expected all of those tend to end in a happily ever after, and the coming together is usually fairly smooth. I picked up this ARC as I wanted to read a story grounded in reality, showing all sides of polyamory and not only the ideal endings. This book delivered exactly that and it was amazing.

This book is full of essays that tell the romantic life story of the author. Some read as love letters, others are a bit more factual. There were multiple styles of essays, there was one written as a play, and the first is a bulletpoint timeline of their life. I really enjoyed it that the styles changed throughout the book and definitely made it fun to see so many different ways of telling a story.

Together these essays made a picture of a life that is being enjoyed en fully explored. It was great to see the authors perspective in life and everything that they went through. The story of their life was shared with the right amount of detail but was never too dense with information. But above all the emotions of the author and the people around them was thoroughly felt by me and I experienced every emotion they felt as well.

In my own life I am realizing more and more I might be polyamorous too, and I have been escaping in polyamorous romances as a consequence. But to read about a lived life felt immensely more valuable in exploring myself than that any other fictional book ever did for me. It showed me the factual possibilities of dating multiple people, and gave a clear example of one such life. Of course there are a million ways to live a polyamorous life, but to read about one of those was already enlightening.

Concluding I would recommend this book for anyone interested in having a peek into the authors love life, especially if they like many styles of writing an essay and feeling emotions deeply.

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This was a lovely nonfiction series of essays about experiences with polyamory. I felt very seen while reading this, and I learned some new things along the way! Each essay/chapter takes a different format, which worked well for some, but not as well for others. But overall I loved this and I think it should be shelved as an excellent poly resource right up there with the classics (Polysecure, The Ethical Slut, More Than Two, etc.).

4.5 rounded up!

🌈Queer rep: nonbinary author, NB/M + poly relationships with M/F/NB people.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Quilted Press for the ARC! This book is so lovingly written, I didn't want it to end. It honestly took me longer to finish than I imagined — every essay felt compelling and necessary, every word needed to be savored and turned over in my mouth.

Alex Alberto writes with such adoration and spirit that it's nearly impossible to set this book down. Alberto entertains a variety of structures and narratives throughout each essay (even crafting a family conflict over the holidays into a briefly striking play). I was surprised that this was their first book — Alberto absolutely thrives in playful formats, which is a genuine testament to how their creativity accentuates the raw feelings of grief, pleasure, and wonder that overflows from this collection.

Over anything, what I admire most about this book is the openness and hope that it leaves in its wake. If there is one thing to remember from this book it's that love is not a finite resource; for centuries we've been raised and indoctrinated with solely monogamous ideals to the extent that we can only conceptualize heteronormative relationships and relegate anything outside of that form as deleterious. But love is formless and abundant, we have so much of it and are constantly wondering where to put it. Alberto illustrates not only that these relationships can exist but how to explore and build and cherish them. In equal weight, I learned from this book as much as I enjoyed consuming it. Just reading through Alberto's experiences with their partners allowed me a better understanding of my own feelings of jealousy / scarcity, the ways it can be communicated, and how to address my partner's and my own needs.

To be able to read other people's experiences with polyamory + relationships in general is such a privilege that I feel incredibly grateful to have in this lifetime. Alberto is a lovely writer and I look forward to reading more from them!!

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It's hard for me not to cry as I finish reading this book. As a young queer person, living in a country where anything outside of the norm is shamed, reading this has been liberating. I have always struggled with the traditional model of monogamous romantic relationships. It felt restrictive and wrong. I've always felt guilty for not wanting what everyone else around me wants. Thank you for showing me that my need to share the love inside of me is not something I should fear or hide.

Perhaps I'll writing something more coherent about this book later but right now, I'm overwhelmed with emotion.

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. And thank you Quilted Press!

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For those who're curious as well as for those who have experience, this essay collection is for you!

Told in multiple formats and an interesting mix of genres, these essays really convey the process of learning about yourself and living a not so conventional life.

At times funny and at others aching with feeling, this collection is something I'm going to revisit again and again.

It's made me question what I believe about intimacy and monogamy when it relates to myself, which is a win for this work.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an Arc of this book. All opinions are my own

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Polyamory is not something I have learned about before picking up this book. It absolutely gave me a lot to think about and I believe it is a must read.I think this was an incredible exploration and depiction of love in all its forms. The structure of each of the essays were used to explore narrativity and the impacts the way a story is told can have on readers.

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Alex has created something beautiful and potent here. Entwined is an artistic and vulnerable, bold yet gentle memoir about polyamory composed in a way I had not seen before. The essay style format allowed for so much creativity and perspective, and made the book very entertaining and intimate to read.

“Polyamory is about developing multiple relationships with partners that you care about, with everyone in the know and - in my case - everyone hanging out with each other. For me, it’s not about casual sex. Amor means love!”

As someone who has not previously been exposed to polyamory but approaches non-traditional ways of living and loving with great curiosity and open-mindedness, I am very grateful for this book. I had always been a little confused and frankly somewhat hesitant toward the concept, but this memoir allowed very enriching and enlightening perspectives and insights, making polyamory into something that I can now grasp. I do not believe that it is for everyone, but neither is monogamy. Alex is great at not communicating in extremes, but finding a skillfully balanced line that expands capacity for various ways to live and love. And that is something not many people can do whilst writing a book that is also enjoyable to read. Left me with a lot of thoughts.

I have now corrected my preconceptions, realizing that polyamory is not simply about physical intimacy but rather emotional ones. I have deep admiration for the radical transparency and honesty Alex described about themselves and their partners employing in their relationships. It is very inspiring, regardless of which relationship model one follows. I realized that relationships and love can genuinely be what anybody wants them to be, and how the traditional ideal of love is just that. One of many versions of how one can live their lives. Why erase all alternatives, why forbid people to find what’s best for them? It is a simple fact that very many people are unsatisfied in their relationships, and yet remain in them. Books like these help open your eyes toward hope and different perspectives and approaches, with polyamory just being one amongst many that deconstruct the relationship escalator. “Imagine you could design your relationship with legos: you can pick the pieces you want, leave aside the ones you don’t, and build any shape you like.”

Towards the end, Alex touches upon many more aspects such as asexuality, genderqueerness, the pressures of the nuclear family or rather not having children, and how a relationship can be of value regardless of whether it persisted. “Most people around me consider a relationship a failure if it ended. But why would the criteria for something’s success be that it never ended or never evolved into something different?” This memoir is packed with beautiful life lessons and serves as an inspiration on various topics. Thank you for letting us into your mind and heart, Alex. It is not an easy task to be this vulnerable and publish one’s deepest thoughts and fears for the whole world to see. This is a book I would love to have as a physical copy and go back to the many parts I found inspiring for my monogamous relationship.

“Polyamory taught me how to share romantic love and sex, which culturally, are the most dangerous things to share. Once I learned how to do that, I started seeing the potential for creating abundance everywhere.”

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entwined: essay on polyamory and making family 💜

i haven’t come across anything like this book before and i seriously think alex is adding something new and exciting to the current market. polyamory is kind of a taboo topic in our society and i feel like even within the lgbtq+ community you don’t hear people talking about it as freely as alex dared in this book.

i really appreciated alex’s frankness and genuine vulnerability. they come across as down-to-earth, with a lot of interesting new insights. personally at times i dwindled off a bit when the topic left polyamory, since i picked up this book mainly for that theme. i felt like some of the other things that were explored were done so a bit superficially.

technically these are all essays, but the format of the book is very original and engaging. all of the essays take a different form (so for example next to the normal style essays, you have a play, an advice column, etc). some of these formats really worked for me, others did not. overall i liked the switching styles, but i think it is always a bit of a risk when you try to appeal to so many different formats. so positive: there is something for everyone. but also negative: there will probably also be one or two that don’t work for you (or at least for me).

like the author says in their preface: dont see it as a how-to, because its not. instead see it as a way of learning empathy maybe towards a sexuality / form of relationship that isnt widely accepted. all the issues i had with this book had more to do with personal preference than actual flaws from the authors side.

my favorite part of this collection was definitely the exploration of the non-nuclear family & communal living. thank you alex for sharing your story & thank you netgalley for the advanced copy.

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This was lovely - a very open, honest, and compassionate look into polyamory. I’ve never read any books on it before, nor do I have any personal experience, so I don’t want to speak on how polyamory is described beyond saying that this felt very nuanced, showing both the joys and complexities of non-monogamy.

What I can say is that I really enjoyed the different styles and formats throughout the book. The essay on alternative outcomes to famous movies, if only the characters had been poly, was hilarious. Some essays were very emotional and touching. From relationships growing, changing, and ending to parents and their (lack of) understanding and acceptance.

The care with which jealousy and un-learning cis/heteronormative and monogamous relationship views were explored and explained make this a great book for any reader, I think. Regardless of what your relationship(s) look like, there’s a lot to be said for the honesty and openness Alex describes. Without wanting to co-opt the term, compersion (as in, joy for others in the opposite form of jealousy) seems like something beneficial for everyone.

Not unimportantly, the essays are highly accessible. The writing is clear and at times I found I had to remind myself these were real people and events I was reading about (in a good way!). Highly recommend this collection.

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one of the most moving representations of polyamory from start to existence, fully expressed as a polyamorous being. the emphasis on community, metamours, friends, and all of the beings that compose a constellation of someone's life reimagines the nuclear family.

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Thanks to NetGalley for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review!

This is very late for a review of an arc, but I stand by my choice to have waited to read this until I did. Polyamory is different for everyone, and each 'cule will have their own systems, but I don't know if I would have enjoyed this as much if I hadn't just read an aggressively heterosexual book about non-monogamy. Alex Alberto is an excellent writer, and this shines through in each chapter regardless of format. The struggles they express are relatable, the joys even more so, and I most appreciated how honest they were about the ever evolving nature of their relationships. There is no end point, just a chronological catching up to the present. I'm going to keep an eye out for their future works, and more of Quilted Press's projects.

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This book was such a warm and enriching read. I am exploring this topic somewhat newly and was so astonished at the poetic and supportive nature of the author’s point of view…it was helpful and beautiful.

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