Summary and book reviews of Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson

Perfect Little World

by Kevin Wilson

Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson X
Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2017, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Kevin Wilson's anticipated follow-up to The Family Fang, Perfect Little World is a warm-hearted and emotional story about a young woman charting her own course.

When Isabelle Poole meets Dr. Preston Grind, she's fresh out of high school, pregnant with her art teacher's baby, and totally on her own. Izzy knows she can be a good mother but without any money or relatives to help, she's left searching.

Dr. Grind, an awkwardly charming child psychologist, has spent his life studying family, even after tragedy struck his own. Now, with the help of an eccentric billionaire, he has the chance to create a "perfect little world" - to study what would happen when ten children are raised collectively, without knowing who their biological parents are.  He calls it The Infinite Family Project and he wants Izzy and her son to join.

This attempt at a utopian ideal starts off promising, but soon the gentle equilibrium among the families disintegrates: unspoken resentments between the couples begin to fester; the project's funding becomes tenuous; and Izzy's growing feelings for Dr. Grind make her question her participation in this strange experiment in the first place.

Written with the same compassion and charm that won over legions of readers with The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson shows us with grace and humor that the best families are the ones we make for ourselves.

From the prologue of Kevin Wilson's Perfect Little World

Now, sitting in the classroom, all of them uncomfortably positioned on the floor because the chairs were too small for adult bodies, they waited for Dr. Grind to appear. There were nineteen of them, their names and faces so familiar to Izzy that she actually did think of them as her brothers and sisters, or, at the very least, as her extended family. However she defined them, she felt an intimacy with these people that never touched desire, thank god. There were nine couples and then Izzy, who came to the group alone. The others assumed she would meet someone, eventually marry, but Izzy had not considered it. There was something more important at stake, Dr. Grind always reminded them. They had to be fluid and open and no longer dependent on the expectations of their former lives, before they had come together.

In this cheery, brightly colored room, Izzy tried to focus, tried to ignore the creeping feeling that she was not ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Readers who do not share Kevin Wilson's sunny worldview may find the story's resolution a bit too perfect, but Kevin Wilson's Perfect Little World is an opportunity to consider what "family" means and how just one right person can make up for a world of past pain.   (Reviewed by Lisa Butts).

Full Review Members Only (737 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

He uses his intriguing premise to explore the meaning of family and the limits of rational decision making.

Library Journal

[A] moving novel about love, parenting, and the families we create for ourselves.

Booklist

Starred Review. Stellar... Compelling... Realer and wiser and sadder and eventually reassuring about human nature than dozens of other novels.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. A moving and sincere reflection on what it truly means to become a family.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment

In Perfect Little World, Dr. Preston Grind and his team of researchers conduct the "Marshmallow Experiment" on the children living at the Infinite Family Project. A marshmallow is placed before a child and he/she has a choice: eat it right away, or wait fifteen minutes and receive two marshmallows instead of one. The experiment was conceived by scientists at Stanford University, led by psychologist Walter Mischel, and conducted throughout the 1960s and 70s on roughly 650 children. It's known as the marshmallow experiment but that wasn't always the treat, cookies and pretzels were also used depending on what the subject preferred.

In the 1980s, Mischel checked in on his study subjects and made a startling discovery: those who were able to...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Perfect Little World, try these:

  • History of Wolves jacket

    History of Wolves

    by Emily Fridlund

    Published 2017

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Winner of the McGinnis-Ritchie award for its first chapter, Emily Fridlund's propulsive and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent.

  • The Rosie Effect jacket

    The Rosie Effect

    by Graeme Simsion

    Published 2015

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Rosie Project, starring the same extraordinary couple now living in New York and unexpectedly expecting their first child. Get ready to fall in love all over again.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...
  • Book Jacket: Mothers of Sparta
    Mothers of Sparta
    by Dawn Davies
    What it's about:
    The tagline on the back cover of Mothers of Sparta says it all: "Some women...
  • Book Jacket: Fortress America
    Fortress America
    by Elaine Tyler May
    In Fortress America, Elaine Tyler May presents a fascinating but alarming portrait of America's...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Force of Nature
    by Jane Harper

    A riveting, tension-driven thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    As Bright as Heaven
    by Susan Meissner

    A story of a family reborn through loss and love in Philadelphia during the flu epidemic of 1918.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

A gripping novel from the award-winning author of For Today I Am a Boy.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G O T P, B The P, F T P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.