"A truly poignant read that shines a light on the humanity in neurodivergence, the heart of parenting, and the soul of psychotherapy.”—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again
A profoundly thought-provoking, funny, and hopeful memoir about adapting when life doesn’t go to plan, redefining family, and creating your own path.
One afternoon, Emma Nadler gets a call from her daughter's doctor that changes her life forever. Faced with the realities of raising a child with a rare genetic condition, Nadler must confront her preconceptions of motherhood and her perfectionistic beliefs.
With a generous wit and a wide-open mind, Nadler—who also happens to be a psychotherapist—offers a rare window into the unconventional ways she and her family adapt to their improbable path. Every relationship in her life—with herself, her husband, children, friends, and even clients—is reimagined as she navigates the heartbreak and hilarity of her daily life.
As she and her husband join the 53 million caregivers in the United States, Nadler wrestles to belong in a society that devalues both caregivers and people with disabilities. She challenges the scripts that mothers should be martyrs, or that self-sacrifice is a necessary component of love. Nadler illustrates the complexity, grief, and joy of living an unexpected life, all with the wisdom of a therapist, the heart of a loving parent, and the ingenuity of a queer woman who refuses to be shackled by cultural expectations.
The Unlikely Village of Eden is an insightful and wholehearted look at the long-ignored realities so many families live with daily. Nadler is a trusted guide who confronts both hope and despair as she gives readers the gift of what it looks like to redefine love, success, family, and community.