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On Family

"This enlightening, elegantly-presented blend of personal interviews and photographic portraits unlocks family life in all its complexity, with a view to fostering self-discovery."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Part of the forward-thinking Lessons for Life series from The School of Life, On Family explores the joys and challenges of family life in engrossing, intimate, enlightening style. Centred on 50+ interviews and personal portraits, individuals from all walks of life — and forms of family — here share their memories and experiences of family life.

The introduction shares how the book was born from commissioning five notable photographers — Mark Hobbs, Kate Peters, Marjolaine Ryley, Michelle Sank and Naomi Williams — to “collect realistic data about family life” through asking simple questions, with the ultimate aim of creating a book that might “help us reflect on our own family experiences with newfound candour and courage.”

The individuals featured certainly share their stories with candour and courage. Here we meet the child who feels they’re “just not good enough”, the grieving mother who lost her baby son to cot death, the young man who’s borne “the heaviest weight in the world” after losing his father, and a woman’s “roller-coaster” experience of becoming a stepmother, to share but a few of the book’s personal profiles.

With themed entries covering The Child, Mother, Father, Different Arrangements, Siblings, and Extended Family, each section concludes with “questions for self-exploration” that invite the reader to ponder profound topics, among them “how has a parent failed you?” and “what have you learned from your siblings?” 

The result is an intimate, informative, elegantly-presented work that showcases and celebrates what family is and means, in all its diversity and complexity.

Joanne Owen

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Primary Genre Self Help and Personal Development
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