Saturday, April 2, 2011
How do you define family? Is it limited to blood relatives or can this title encompass relationships that are cultivated through life's experiences? Laurie Frankel's The Atlas of Love redefines what it means to be a family and asks readers to examine the strength and fortitude of their own relationships. . .space space spacespace space This is the story of three friends and their adventures in parenting, although only one of them actually gave birth. When Jill finds out she's pregnant, she almost immediately finds out that her boyfriend isn't interested in being a father. As he pulls away, her two friends, Janey and Katie, pull closer. Faced with the reality of an impending birth, the three friends decide to work together to raise Jill's baby. . ,space space spacespace space pacespace space space The concept seems a bit whimsically and, on the surface, barely realistic, but they do what they can to make it work. Nobody is prepared for the enormity of the task, which they quickly realize is not defined by a plethora of lollipops and roses. The situation brings with it "family" dynamics to which any mother, daughter or close friend can relate. . .sace spcae scspace space spcae Frankel is simply a gifted writer. Her characters are well-developed, intriguing and thoughtful. The dialog is witty and well-paced. The plot is imaginative but curiously realistic. Overall, just a truly enjoyable read that makes you appreciate the friends you have and look forward to the relationships you'll forge in the future.