Readers may remember Emma Donoghue for her blockbuster novel Room, about a happy little boy growing up in horrifying conditions. Where Room was darkness pierced with light, Donoghue’s latest is pretty much all light. The Lotterys Plus One, for young readers, is about a big, boisterous, diverse family that starts with two sets of same sex couples deciding to have children. The family grows to include seven kids, and that “plus one” of the title turns out to be the addition that tips the family over the edge.
Donoghue says she got the idea for the book at a dinner party. “My hostess said to me, ‘How come there aren’t good books for middle grade that feature kids with two mothers?’ You know, ‘Write me one, Emma,’ she said. And then I thought, while I’m at it, let’s make it really big — you know, go big or go home.”