A special thank you to Edelweiss and Ecco for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I want to preface this review with my love of The Family Fang which I found riveting and a complete page-turner. This book however, fell well under that bar. I wasn't hooked immediately, the prologue had me scratching my head and not wanting to continue, but once I started in on Chapter 1, I found the hook. Meet Izzy, a recent high school graduate who is pregnant with her art teacher's baby. Her support system is lacking—a dead mother, drunk father, and unstable father-to-be/boyfriend—so when Izzy is presented with an opportunity to participate in the Infinite Family Project, she jumps at it having no other resources. Izzy will join nine other couples and live on a compound in rural Tennessee where they will all raise their children as one family. The project is headed by Dr. Preston Grind who believes that the more love a child will receive, the better off they will be.
Sounds great, right? Well...not so much for me, I don't particularly care for utopian-style books, and I'm not sure why. Is it their formulaic nature, or that utopias don't actually exist? Because there will be a giant conflict/problem to overcome? Is it the predictable "survival of the fittest"? I'm not sure, but pushing this aside, the book was filled with some great parts and excellent writing. Without giving too much away, things start to crumble at the compound (gasp!) with relationships disintegrating, funding running out, and Izzy's growing feelings for Dr. Grind. The worst part for me was the ending and how Wilson tied everything up, a little too neatly and by that point, it had just fizzled out.
Wilson's novel is a look at the family unit, the roles we play to create these units, and love. I would recommend reading this before The Family Fang so you are not too disappointed.