The adage “it takes a village” is taken to a new level in Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson where ten sets of parents take part of an experiment to raise their children in a collective.
After graduating from high school and finding out that she’s pregnant with her mentally unstable art teacher’s child, Izzy has limited options on how to proceed. With practically no support structure in her life to raise her son, Izzy opts to pursue her best option and become part of the Infinity Family Project, where her son will be co-raised with nine other children by eighteen other parents for ten years. As the group develops over the years, there are fractures within their ranks that threaten the harmonic balance of this extended family and the research being pursued.
Conceptually, the premise of this story was a rather intriguing and it was rather well executed through a type of time lapse narrative. I found Izzy to be a bit strange and aloof at times; while I do understand a predisposition toward older men, the fact that Izzy makes decisions that involve them regardless of the potential consequences made her less likable. The whole concept of the role of nurture in child rearing was well explored in this novel, both the positive and negative methods and results. There was an element of predictability to the narrative trajectory, particularly the ending, which felt a bit forced.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.