How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century

Bella DePaulo. Atria/Beyond Words, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-58270-479-1
DePaulo’s cross-country survey of living arrangements shatters the illusion that the average American belongs to a nuclear family living in a single-family home in the suburbs. In co-housing communities along the West Coast, she discovers that residents of all generations have found happiness in common gardens and shared meals. Meanwhile, seniors have become “lifespace” pioneers, eschewing institutions and creating their own senior communities, sometimes with juniors involved as well. In Chicago, foster families and older adults enrich one another’s lives in the appropriately named Hope Meadows. Other lifestyle approaches and strategies covered here include house sharing, finding social networks (not necessarily in the online sense), and keeping a home separately from one’s partner. DePaolo’s descriptions of these living arrangements are punctuated with quotes from her extensive interviews with “the people who let me into their homes and their lives,” providing the book with a wide range of voices. If it falls short of a call for inspiring urban planners, architects, and developers to think differently, it is because the book is, by design, an exploration of personal choice and expression. Agent: Melissa Flashman, Trident Media. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 08/25/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4767-6300-2
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