Book Review – The Lotterys Plus One – Emma Donoghue
Book: The Lotterys Plus One
Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Young Adult
Year of Release: 2017
Read 309-page hardcover edition in March 2018.
The Lotterys are a unique family, to put it mildly. However, they prove that even different families can and are built on love and care. In this large family, there are four co-parents, two same-sex couples, who care for a variety of children, some who were adopted and some who were conceived within the family. The family tries to live close to the land, respect other cultures and diversity, and care for the environment.
However, the idyllic if chaotic family life is turned upside down when an estranged parent of one of the dad’s must come and live with the family, due to the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. The children, and adults, must determine how best to integrate this grandparent/parent into their collective, when he doesn’t necessarily understand them, or even want to be there.
This was a fantastic children’s and young adults novel by renowned author Emma Donoghue. The book explores a variety of important themes for children and teens in a fun, enjoyable, compulsively readable way. Donoghue writes in a way that is also enjoyable for adults. Themes like sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health, environmentalism, food ethics, ageism and caring for the elderly are all explored to great effect in this novel.
Furthermore, the characters in the novel were unique and memorable. Donoghue does a good job making each child fairly unique, yet also showing how they care for each other, with differences being celebrated, not shunned. Donoghue has been very creative in developing a fun, amusing, but also at times serious plot, and putting these various characters into situations where we learn more about them and learn about the themes and how we relate to those themes.
Although at times this book can be predictable, it’s an enjoyable novel for all ages,. The book is especially useful to promote and teach diversity, inclusion, and the beauty of difference to children and teens.
Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars