Izzy, poor and mostly alone in the world since her mother died, just graduated from high school and is knocked up by her mentally unstable art teacher, so when the opportunity to join the Infinite Family Project falls at her feet, she feels that accepting a role in it as a single mother among nine other couples is her only option.
The Infinite Family Project is the brainchild of a superstore-family grandmother (think the Walmart Waltons) and a brainiac child psychiatrist who is still trying to understand who he is as an adult. These two people with very different but very strange upbringings are attempting to create the perfect environment to raise a family to create happy and successful children. This includes communal living with the ten parental sets (including single mom Izzy) and the children not knowing who their parents really are until year five. You can imagine the rest.
This book is more than a look at how every utopia ultimately fails because of humanity. There’s sex and drama and questions of attachment and lots of pulled pork. I read this book at this moment in time because I’m in a class studying Utopias in Fiction and this seemed right up my ally, but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the book so much.
Wilson builds up to the Infinite Family Project well with just enough backstory to make Izzy interesting without burdening her with too much baggage to enjoy the project. The way the chapters are divided to give you a sense of what the project is doing each of it’s ten projected years without overwhelming you with day-to-day information is expertly done. It’s hard to tackle nearly ten years in one novel, but Wilson does it well and keeps you interested in the mechanization of the project without making it dull, because even the craziest utopia has boring days.
Check out Perfect Little World if you love the idea of perfection and how impossible it is to achieve it due to humanity because human.