Libby Purves

How Not to be a Perfect Family Translated from the English by Claire Joly. Publication date : June 1, 1997

Perfect families, as we know, live in perfectly kept houses, have admirably well-organized vacations, raise studious and mannerly children, work hard, never yell and are models of good behaviour in all circumstances. OK, now come back to earth. What do you see ? That there are clothes littering the hallway and the bathroom; that vacations are always sources of unforgettable scenes; that the kids are doing their homework on the kitchen table and at the very last minute before leaving for school, that they cheat at Monopoly or tie their grandfather's shoelaces together as he naps in the armchair. But is this what's really important ? The perfect mother does not exist any more than does the ideal child. Why can't we just try to do our best in the family ? It just takes a little common sense, imagination, humor and a good dose of love. A book to read in moments of doubt, fury or sadness, so as not to forget that the family is the only nest you and your baby birds have !

Libby Purves is an English journalist in radio and written press. Married and mother of two, she is the author of several books, most notably How Not to be a Perfect Mother and How Not to Raise Perfect Children.