Kevin Wilson’s first novel came out in 2011, and is called The Family Fang. I blogged about it back in 2015 here.  Naturally, I was thrilled to see that Mr. Wilson has a new book out in 2017. It’s called Perfect Little Worldand it is utterly worth the six-year wait.

Dr. Preston Grind, a child psychologist with a tragic past, begins a new experiment called The Infinite Family Project, in which he brings ten families with newborn babies to live together in a state-of-the-art multiple-family facility in a beautiful woodland setting.  Izzy Poole, a recent high-school graduate who discovers that she is pregnant and is determined to raise her child, decides to become part of this unique microcosm where all the parents share the responsibilities and the joys of bringing up all the children together.

Of course, it transpires that Dr. Grind’s perfect little world shows signs of being far from perfect.  The flaws that surface over time cause the families, and the reader, to ask what it really means to be a family.

Kevin Wilson writes beautifully, and he draws his characters with empathy no matter how crazy they are. And some of them are very strange!  which is one of the most engaging elements in the story.

Usually, I include a list of other novels that I think are read-alikes.  However, Perfect Little World defeats me here. I can’t think of any other writer who writes the way Kevin Wilson does.  I hope I do not have to wait six years again for another Wilson novel, but if I do, it will be worth it.

One comment on “A Zany and Original Voice in Fiction

  1. Another book that is about a vision of a perfect little world is T.C. Boyle’s Terranauts, and Wilson’s book reminded me of that in that there is also a highly selective group of people who make a commitment to stay together for a number of years as part of an idealized experiment. The books are alike in that the utopias are undermined by the unpredictability of human nature and the inevitability of conflict, especially when living in close quarters. In both books outsiders denounce the communities as cults and their leaders as dangerous opportunists. Which brings to mind two other books I might put on a read-alikes list: Lauren Groff’s Arcadia and Emma Cline’s The Girls.

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