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Stories From the Polycule: Real Life in Polyamorous Families

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  22 reviews
An anthology of work from people living in polyamorous families of all configurations.

Welcome to the polycule: the network created by the interconnections of polyamorous relationships. Just like the molecules that make up all living things, polycules come in diverse forms: large, small, tightly bound, loosely connected, static, ever-changing. How do polycules form, what do
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 15th 2015 by Thorntree Press
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Dec 30, 2016 added it
So I tried to read this straight through but soon realized that I don't actually find most stories about polyamorous daily life very interesting or useful or resonant unless they are written by queer people. (Especially queer kinky folks.) My days of soaking up all polyamory stories like a sponge because I'm so hungry for them are over, it seems.

So I started skimming. This book is difficult to skip around in if you are looking for things by the bio, because the table of contents does not list t
Oct 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a compilation, and as such some of the stories are rather good. But as a whole, this is not a good book.

The curation is really poorly done.
* There are a variety of stories written by people in the same polycule, where this could have been made evident, could have been cross referenced, could have used the same damn names for consistency, but none of that was done.
* The editing is virtually non-existent. I suspect the curator wanted to present the stories in an unedited way for authentici
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poly-books
An interesting read. A compendium of very short stories, as told by people who've had polyamorous experiences. This means two things: it's a great book to read in quick bursts (say, while commuting!); and the stories are short enough that it's hard to to take anything away from them other than the experience except - though sometimes the authors of the stories include some of their evaluations of what happened.

A couple of stories are connected, and those were the most interesting to me. Seeing t
Avory Faucette
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
It wasn't quite as bad as I feared after the first few (heteronormative) stories, but this book does read a little bit relationship-normative if you're used to a queer bubble. There are queer folks represented, but very few who are exclusively gay, for example, or trans. I did like some of the more unusual family structure depictions, and how young kids perceive polyamory, which is refreshingly blasé. ...more
Dedeker Winston
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This collection of stories offers a thorough yet accessible snapshot of daily life in polyamorous networks. There's something here for everyone, from the poly newb to the seasoned veteran. I particularly love that the voice of each contributor was preserved, and it felt like such a joy to get a sampling of the stories of people from so many different walks of life. ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Hmmm, I've been seriously mulling over how I feel about this book. Certain parts of me loved it while other parts of me didn't like it because of how polyamory,or how the person discussing their poly family/lifestyle, portrayed it. I was irritated and frustrated a few times while reading the book but then I had to remember that these are individual experiences and i can't invalidate them just because it sounds really bad and puts polyamory in a bad light in my opinion.

The author(s) Elizabeth She
What makes this collection deserving of five stars is the raw honesty it portrays about the breadth of experiences that occur when people explore non-conventional relationship styles. While I am a non-hierarchical polyamorist experiencing passionate joy and authenticity in my multiple loving relationships, I understand that polyamory isn't for everyone. I can appreciate that this collection not only explored the healthy and happy polyamorists but also the unhealthy and heartbroken polyamorists.. ...more
Aug 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
It took me a bit to warm up to this book. I expected candid stories about different kinds of polyamorous family structures. I got that eventually but the way the sections of the book were laid out, there were definitely lots of stories that started to sound the same or idealized polyamorous relationships. I wanted to read about relationships that work and don't work, problems that folks faced and either walked away from or overcame. There's a section toward the end that talked about that and I a ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this book - a variety of essays of folks living poly to show the dynamic/ diversity of relationships that can exists that "mainstream" doesn't really offer much alternatives to.

Some of my fav parts:

"My partner could only be happy for me, since the amount of love I was feeling was multiplied, and I showered him with all of that. No complaints whatsoever:)" p65

"In a monogamous relationship you are not allowed to openly explore this exciting new connection. That leaves you with three
Jul 26, 2021 rated it liked it
This selection of stories could have been gayer. Many of the relationships and families represented, though diverse and inclusive, were middle age, middle class, cis-passing, and heteronormative. It's been some years since the publication and for that I can contextually place the language of these stories in a time that didn't operate against microagressions as we do today.

I took notes on specific lines that stood out to me. They will continue to help me in ways even outside my polyamourous expl
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great collection of stories from all the "messy" parts of a polyamorous lifestyle

Instead of prescribing or trying to figure out what is and isn't poly. This books, instead, gives honest accounts of various aspects of the lifestyle and has the reader try to figure out what is and isn't to them. Very much enjoyed it
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
A bit hit or miss, but the chapters on the lives of kids in poly families and long-term poly relationships were really good and some of the stories made me tear up. It also helped me get some examples of how I might want future relationships to roughly look like or important things to talk about so I really appreciate that since there's not a lot of poly representation (specially not good rep) ...more
Lista Gough
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm currently reading "Stories From the Polycule" and I have to say I love it! It's a really well laid out readable book. I'm enjoying the real stories from real people sharing their thoughts, feelings and perspectives through their lived experience. I highly recommend this book to any open-minded person wanting to know more about different expressions of relationships. ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to the wide world of polyamory and different roads that lead to poly relationships, varied styles of poly relationships and also what a few poly family experiences have been like for members of those families including young kids.
A great, personal way to get an understanding of polyamory though personal stories, especially if we haven’t heard much about poly before.
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This was FASCINATING. All the different types of families, and how they work - I loved it.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
A few excellent stories but a lot of lackluster reads in the mix. Better quality over quantity IMO.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways.

I'm exclusively monogamous and happy with that, however I've always been curious about polyamory. I have a minor in Sexuality, Gender and Queer studies and while I polyamory had been mentioned in my education, it was never really focused on. I found this book to be very informative. It was interesting to see the different formations that polyamorous relationships can take on and how people came to be polyamorous. I was a little disappointed in the sec
Joli Hamilton
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tales from the trenches, from so many angles! I'm certain I will read this several times as I continue my personal and academic inquiry into the nature of polyamory. A great read for anyone who is curious about non-monogamy, even if you already know it's not in the cards for you.

Tales from the trenches, from so many angles! I'm certain I will read this several times as I continue my personal and academic inquiry into the nature of polyamory. A great read for anyone who is curious about non-monog
Quinn Daley
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great little collection of stories told from inside poly families - some sad ones, some unusual ones and many really hopeful ones. People have done this and they've kept themselves in for the long haul.

Reading this book, I found myself being really hopeful about my own relationships. Being polyamorous sometimes leaves you with that socialized taste in your mouth: maybe it's just a phase... But it isn't. It's who I am. These people have done it and the bad taste is nothing more than th
Zach O'Brien
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: good-reads
I received this book free as a Good reads first read.
It is an interesting book with a variety of short essays, poems, vignettes and interviews. I discovered my original thoughts about what polyamory is were very under-informed. It was a rather honest read, not just the good stuff but also the bad, and probably a very good book for anyone who is thinking about being in some form of poly relationship.
Lori Byrd
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
This book had me in a bit of a dilemma. I'm torn between my faith and what I know God would choose for me in a relationship. I read this thinking these people all sound so happy in what they want to do with their lives and how they live. I am not here to judge them. If that makes them happy, then that is ok with me. Just not my cup of tea. A well written book for the open minded. ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 Stars = I really liked it

Very cool, punchy book. I found myself writing down quotes to remember later - sure sign of a goodie.
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