Author: Elizabeth DeBan & Melissa DePino
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Published: January 2017, Brilliance Audio / Lake Union Publishing
Length: 10 hours 36 minutes
Source: Personal copy via Audible / Little Bird Publicity
On a cozy street in Philadelphia, three neighboring families have become the best of friends. They can’t imagine life without one another—until one family outgrows their tiny row house. In a bid to stay together, a crazy idea is born: What if they tear down the walls between their homes and live together under one roof? And so an experiment begins.
Celia and Mark now have the space they need. But is this really what Celia’s increasingly distant husband wants? Stephanie embraces the idea of one big, happy family, but has she considered how it may exacerbate the stark differences between her and her husband, Chris? While Hope always wanted a larger family with Leo, will caring for all the children really satisfy that need?
Behind closed doors, they strive to preserve the closeness they treasure. But when boundaries are blurred, they are forced to question their choices…and reimagine the true meaning of family.
My thoughts: The idea behind this book is what really captured my interest with this book - the idea of commune living with three families. Personally it's not something I could do - and especially since I do not have kids myself, I could never imagine living full-time with other families - no matter how much I love my nieces and nephews and kids in general! But, just the idea that these three families, who are the best of friends, want to do just that, live together, intrigued me.
The book kept me entertained with all that was going on. The characters were engaging and well-developed, flaws and all. I liked that we got so many different view points on this story - it wasn't just one person telling the story, but rather all six of the adults that were part of the commune, as well as one of the neighbors from down the street. There are lots of dilemmas throughout the book - some big and some small - but all this keeps the book moving forward.
I think the biggest takeaway from this book is that it makes you think - is this something you would ever consider? There certainly are some advantages and disadvantages to this commune living idea. And each of the families seem to benefit from the living arrangement, yet there are also issues going on in their personal lives that the commune living prevents them from facing in a way. So, would you ever give this a try? The closest I come to it is having a shared driveway with my neighbor (we have a long driveaway), which in the winter with snowstorms is a blessing when we can split the shoveling :) But I think that's about as far as I would go...what about you?
Audio thoughts: I always enjoy listening to Cassandra Campbell and she brought this book to life with her narration. Even with all the different narrators, I never felt lost or had a hard time distinguishing who was "telling" the story at different times.