Perfect Little World: A Novel (Hardcover)
Kevin Wilson’s anticipated follow-up to The Family Fang, Perfect Little World is a warm-hearted and emotional story about a young woman charting her own course.
“A novel you keep reading for old-fashioned reasons—because it’s a good story and you need to know what happens. But you also keep reading because you want to know what a good family is. Everyone wants to know that.” —John Irving, The New York Times Book Review
When Isabelle Poole meets Dr. Preston Grind, she’s fresh out of high school, pregnant with her art teacher's baby, and totally on her own. Izzy knows she can be a good mother but without any money or relatives to help, she’s left searching.
Dr. Grind, an awkwardly charming child psychologist, has spent his life studying family, even after tragedy struck his own. Now, with the help of an eccentric billionaire, he has the chance to create a “perfect little world”—to study what would happen when ten children are raised collectively, without knowing who their biological parents are. He calls it The Infinite Family Project and he wants Izzy and her son to join.
This attempt at a utopian ideal starts off promising, but soon the gentle equilibrium among the families disintegrates: unspoken resentments between the couples begin to fester; the project's funding becomes tenuous; and Izzy’s growing feelings for Dr. Grind make her question her participation in this strange experiment in the first place.
Written with the same compassion and charm that won over legions of readers with The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson shows us with grace and humor that the best families are the ones we make for ourselves.
“A good story, and even better storytelling.”
“Wild. . . . [A] provocative read.”
“Charming. . . . Wilson pulls off his sweet-and-tart tone. . . . The novel delights in the project’s Willy Wonkaesque sense of antic chaos.”
“Delicious. . . . Wilson is such an inventive and witty writer. . . . [His] ‘perfect little world’ of a novel pretty much lives up to its title.”
“Persistently compassionate. . . . Wilson’s best moments are funny and earnest. . . . [His] crisp language and smart plotting make Perfect Little World immensely likable and absolutely enjoyable.”
“Quirky. . . . Wilson’s Perfect Little World finds its bliss in the vast disconnect between people’s best intentions and where they land.”
“The sheer energy of imagination in Wilson’s work makes other writers of realistic fiction look lazy. . . . The novel’s grand finale . . . reminds us that not everything unpredictable is painful or bad, and that conventional arrangements have no monopoly on the profound connections that make family.”
“Family is far more than a biological bond; that’s not a groundbreaking idea. But Wilson has found a lovely new way of telling readers something they know by heart.”
“The compensation is a greater richness in the characters, and a refreshingly un-ironic attitude toward love
“Wilson does an incredible job of telling a compelling story while addressing important social issues. . . . Thought-provoking.
“In light and lively prose that practically tap dances on the page, Wilson shrewdly probes the intricate tensions and machinations that lie at the core of this eccentric family unit. . . . A provocative and uplifting read.”
“Stellar. . . . Compelling. . . . Realer and wiser and sadder and eventually reassuring about human nature than dozens of other novels.”
“Bittersweet. . . . Wilson delves into the drama and tensions inherent in this strange aquarium. . . . A moving and sincere reflection on what it truly means to be a family
“Sweet and thoroughly satisfying. . . . Wilson grounds his premise in credible human motivations and behavior, resulting in a memorable cast of characters.”
“[A] moving novel about love, parenting, and the families we create for ourselves.”