Though they look like any other family, they aren't one—not quite. They are three sets of parents who find themselves intertwined after adopting four biological siblings, having committed to keeping the children as connected as possible. As they set out on their first family vacation, all three are pushed into uncomfortably close quarters. And when they receive a call from their children's birth mother announcing she is pregnant again, the delicate bonds the women are struggling to form threaten to collapse as they each must consider how a family is found and formed.
Brown is interested in the dynamics of the nascent modern family she’s created and the bonds the mothers have formed that are starting to fray ... Brown herself is an adoptive mother and it’s clear from the story she’s written that she thinks deeply about the issue. There’s real empathy written into each character and the novel serves as a hearty endorsement for open adoption, when the biological and adoptive parents both play roles in a child’s life. The book won’t appeal to everyone, but readers who appreciate fiction that shows them how others choose to live, will enjoy the heart at the core of
As Brown writes in her author's note, adoption is a multilayered subject, and this one slice leaves out many of the larger forces affecting adoptive families. But her characters wrestle convincingly and compassionately with the challenges of their particular experience. Thoughtful, compelling and ultimately hopeful, Any Other Family asks hard and necessary questions about adoption, privilege and what truly makes a family.