Sally's Reviews > "Why Do I Love These People?": Understanding, Surviving, and Creating Your Own Family

"Why Do I Love These People?" by Po Bronson
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Jan 17, 09

bookshelves: own
Read in January, 2009

** spoiler alert ** eta: Giving this back to DI. Anyone want it?

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Haven't a clue what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. What a delightful and uncomfortable (often at the same time) collection of *true* stories.

There was the woman who had to learn how to reconcile enough with her mentally ill, contriving, compulsive lying mother to care for her as she aged and needed the help. How do I decide on and maintain boundaries? How does this affect my marriage?

There was the fellow that fell in love with a Filipino gal without realizing that her whole family, even the ones that lived in Chicago and Texas and the Philippines, came with her, and how they, though embracing of a large, involved family, came to need some boundaries as well.

There was the gal, who after 10 years of marriage, decided she was completely unhappy, but didn't want to leave her husband or disrupt her children's sense of safety, so she *asked* her husband if she could have an affair.

There was the Irish Catholic woman who married a nice Protestant man, but that meant they had to leave both their neighborhoods and families behind, but it also meant their kids had a better than fair chance of growing up without wanting to murder the "other side."

There was the father who found his own way to grieve his 3 year old's sudden, unexplained death, even though everyone else thought they knew how he should do that.

The author spent weeks, if not months and years, getting to know these families, asking all the questions you would want to ask. He spent almost as long philosophizing about what family means, and how we can function through and amongst our differences and trials. Some of his ideas were right on.

Definitely worth reading if you struggle with your ideas of family, and it might even inspire you to read about others' struggles, and how peace and contentment can be found, even when it seems impossible.
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