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October 13, 2009

Recipe For A Family

Today I’m participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women on Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We’re celebrating the release of Therese Walsh’s debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy: A Novel
(Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost they were teenagers. Visit the Muffin to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit www.theresewalsh.com to find out more about the author.

Family –there’s no doubt families can be fun, irritating, supportive, encouraging or they can be a pain in the neck, causing total misery. When it comes to families the saying the good, the bad and the ugly certainly fits.

My own family is complicated. My parents divorced when I was a teenager and that marital split changed the design of our family. I think this personal history shows its face in the sometime theme that shows up in my writing. I tend to write about people seeking security and often that security takes the form of a newly formed family. It might not be a traditional one, but it’s a family none the less.

Most of us would define a family as a group of persons with a common ancestry, but Webster’s dictionary says a family can also be a group of individuals living under one roof. That’s right! Individuals don’t need to be related to each other in order to become a tight-knit unit or family.

Robyn Carr writes the Virgin River series, which is one of my favorites. The first book Virgin River (Virgin River, Book 1) tells the story of Melinda Monroe, a nurse practitioner, who starts afresh in the township of Virgin River. It’s a small town and as the series progresses, it’s a joy to experience the sense of family that Robyn Carr evokes in her books. Only a few of the characters are blood relations but they learn to depend on each other in both good and bad times. This is to me what a family is about.

I have a new release called House of the Cat out on Wednesday. My hero Ryman Coppersmith is adopted into a loving family as a child. Unfortunately there’s jealousy bubbling under the surface, his stepbrother sets him up and he’s accused of a murder. Ry is forced to flee for his life. We first meet Ry several years later. During the passing years, he’s become captain of a spaceship. He’s a good man and tends to collect people who are down and in trouble. They usually end up as part of his crew, their loyalty to Ry and each other blending them into a family. When Ry decides it’s time to take revenge on his brother and clear his name, they’re there for him one hundred percent. Ry and his crew will do anything for each other. It’s all for one and one for all. A true family.

How would you define a family?


  1. Jaime

    First and foremost (for me) family is “my” family, aka my husband and children. But as we hope to foster one day, that definition would change to include those living in our home.

    With that said…

    My husband is Italian, and man-oh-man, was that a culture shock for white girl over here! Holidays are crazy! But I love being part of such a loud and zany group of people.


  2. Alice Audrey

    I guess to me family is a feeling. After all, some of the closest members of my family live hundreds of miles away.

  3. Linda Henderson

    I think family can be anybody that you care deeply about. I have friends that feel more like family than my blood relatives.

  4. Mary Jo Campbell

    I agree, someitmes the family we choose is much closer and compatible than the family we’re born with.
    I have to LOL at Jamie’s comment. I’m Italian and my husband had a bit of culture shock when he joined my family as well! :smile:

  5. Kaye Manro

    Love and support and friendship.

  6. Mary

    Family to me is all the people I love and who love me, spending time with and liking it.

    My family is so strange but great. I have two older half brothers from my dad’s first marriage and a half sister from that marriage as well. Then my little brother who grew up with me and we are so close. Then I have one other older brother who my mother gave up for adoption when he was born before she met my dad. I found him 5 years ago and he is now a part of our family and it’s worked out so well. He is so much like the rest of us, it’s so funny.

    I have a 18 year old daughter and one of her friends who grew up with her calls me mom because I took care of her so much over the past few years.

    My mom and dad divorced when i was 12 and my mom, dad and step mom all get along really well. My mom and step mom talk on the phone all the time. I think it’s great.

    My hubby’s family is huge and they get along really well with my family. So It works out well for me.

  7. Shelley Munro

    Jaime – your family gatherings might be loud but I bet they’re fun!

    Alice – that’s true. Sometimes family remain close despite the miles between.

  8. Shelley Munro

    Linda – that’s what I think too. People can belong to your family despite not being a blood relation.

    Mary Jo – as I said to Jaime, your family gatherings sound like fun!

    Mary – you’re lucky because I think it’s rare for exs and new wives to get on. Things weren’t quite so civilized in my family!