• One and Only

  • The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One
  • By: Lauren Sandler
  • Narrated by: Lauren Sandler
  • Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Journalist Lauren Sandler is an only child and the mother of one. After investigating what only children are really like and whether stopping at one child is an answer to reconciling motherhood and modernity, she learned a lot about herself - and a lot about our culture's assumptions. In this heartfelt work, Sandler legitimizes a discussion about the larger societal costs of having more than one.

Between the recession, the stresses of modern life, and the ecological dangers ahead, there are increasing pressures on parents to think seriously about singletons. Sandler considers the unique ways that singletons thrive and why so many of their families are happier. One and Only examines these ideas, including what the rise of the single-child family means for our economies, our environment, and our freedom, leaving the listener "informed and sympathetic", writes Nora Krug in the Washington Post.

Through this journey, "Sandler delves deeply, thoughtfully, and often humorously into history, culture, politics, religion, race, economics, and of course, scientific research", writes Lori Gottlieb, The New York Times Book Review. At the end, Sandler has quite possibly cracked the code of happiness, demonstrating that having just one may be the way to resolve our countless struggles with adulthood in the modern age.

©2013 Lauren Sandler (P)2020 Tantor

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Data Driven

Lauren Sandler narrates her novel from a viewpoint of well what about this sort or reaction. She teeters on the line of more or less children. I feel a bit unresolved with the conclusion of the book as a side was not chosen. Her reality is she has one kid and she is a single kid. Her global statistics are fascinating but again the book sometimes hit the hearts strings while other sections our purely research based. I think I would of preferred one or the other. I guess the writing appeals to a wider audience but felt like I wanted to know more from her not the facts. It felt like she was combatting what critics might say about single kids versus totally embracing this choice and how she feels about her experience too.

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Thought Provoking

The performance and story were quite enjoyable! As someone who comes from a very large family, it was eye opening to hear Lauren's experience being an only child. She did an excellent job of compiling information and statistics in a digestible way. I would absolutely recommend this book to those with one child, or those considering getting pregnant.

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Helped me feel more informed

I sought out this book when I was trying to decide if we were going to be "one and done". I felt that I needed more information to help inform the decision. This book is admittedly, obviously presented as a defense of and proponent for only children, but it is not 100% one-sided and provides a lot of real statistics to back things up. A lot of it is does feel somewhat anecdotal but this did not bother me. There is a LOT of biased, outdated and just incorrect information floating out there in society that is against only children. This book serves to balance the scales a little and present a more honest, complete picture.

Perhaps the thing that stuck with me the most is that in practically every single measurable way only children succeed at the same or higher rates than people with siblings. And the one main thing that the author seemed to readily admit was a challenge unique to onlies is that when their parents die they can experience a feeling of profound aloneness that is more acute than someone with close siblings. A feeling of being "the only one left". However the author went on to point out that death of a loved one is never easy, and even when surrounded by supportive loved ones (siblings or otherwise) there is often a feeling of emptiness and aloneness. It is part of the grieving process and not inherently problematic. And having siblings in no way guarantees that that feeling will be any different, as the strength of sibling relationships is about as easy to predict as the strength of any friendship [it's not].

While it is good to be aware of the effects being an only can have on an individual, ultimately it is completely up to the parents to decide what is right for THEM first and foremost. We make many sacrifies for our children. Choosing whether to bring a second child into the world should not be one of those sacrifices. It should not be done simply because we think we need to, because it's what's expected. This book helped me understand the full picture and ultimately I felt comfortable and now so thrilled and relieved to make the decision to be one and done.

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Really Great!

Great book full of solid information, facts and perspective on only children, thank you so much for writing this book!