Wilson takes his quirky world-view into new territory in his third book, featuring two deeply engaging characters – teenager Izzy Poole, smart, pregnant, and alone but by no means without resources, and the iconoclastic Preston Grind, brilliant, ambitious, and recovering from a devastating personal tragedy. Izzy and her baby join “The Infinite Family,” Dr. Grind’s grand experiment with communal parenting as a means of raising super-intelligent, ethical, and compassionate children. Things don’t go exactly as planned, but it’s a heck of a ride; Izzy is a treasure, and the issues raised here-related to family, marriage, child development, and human subject research- will keep you thinking for a while!
Smith’s debut novel is truly a masterpiece, following three families from very different backgrounds, all raising teenagers in (roughly present day) London. With significantly different cultural and class perspectives, the parents of Irie, Magid, Millat, and Joshua, not surprisingly, have different parenting styles and goals for their children; of course, the teens also have plans of their own. The resulting twists and turns, so brilliantly conceived and artfully described by Smith, are the essence of this truly great novel. Big-hearted, funny, thought-provoking and truly memorable!