Posted Monday, April 14, 2008 @ 10:07 AM
This book can be purchased http://www.amazon.com/Table-Eight-Raising-Family-Small-Family/dp/1592576737/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1208138379&sr=8-1
When I first heard about Table for Eight by Meagan Francis, the book piqued my interest. Having five children myself, I was interested to read what the author had to say about today's larger families. The book's subtitle "Raising a large family in a small-family world" also caught my attention, and I looked forward to gleaning a few tips and tricks that I could put into practice with my own bigger-than-average crew.
There were a number of things I liked about Table for Eight. I especially appreciated that, in many ways, the author directly and indirectly discussed the misconceptions many people hold about large families. She talks about not all large families fitting the stereotypical mold of being religious, against-birth-control homeschoolers who are extremely rich (or poor). Mrs. Francis does a good job of showing that today's large families span the spectrum on these and many other societal issues and categories. Through real life examples and vignettes in the book, members of large families come across as normal people. I also felt that the author laid out the differences in the varied reasons people have large families in a non-judgmental way.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the quotes from children in large families. The children ranged in age from 16 to 4 years old, and they told of the good and bad things about being in a large family.
Most of Table for Eight was devoted to the practical aspects of raising a large family and how the parents of big families manage things. The book discusses organization, transportation, food, money, schooling, parenting, time, and fun time/vacation. In my opinion the ideas set forth were largely common sense, and most could be applied to smaller families in the same way or on a smaller scale. As the mother of five, I really didn't learn anything new or come away with any of the tips or tricks I'd anticipated.
All in all I enjoyed the book Table for Eight, but I feel the book is more for people who are thinking about having a large family, have (or will) suddenly become a large family by giving birth to multiples or adopting a sibling group, or are just curious as to "how big families do it" rather than for those who already have a big family.