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Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience Paperback – April 28, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience
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  • The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family
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  • The Smart Stepfamily Marriage: Keys to Success in the Blended Family
Total price: $35.43
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Samantha Waltz has been writing since childhood. She sold her first story at age eleven to a local newspaper. Her next stories were published in American Girl, and she later worked as a guest editor and assistant editor for Mademoiselle. Her books include Parenting: Four Patterns In Childrearing, Parenting Gifted Children, and Gifted Child: Master Piece in the Making. Currently she has over sixty personal essays in anthologies including the Seal Press anthologies Ask Me About My Divorce and Why We Ride.

The development of Blended calls on her experience as a stepparent, a family therapist, and a teacher of classes and workshops on parenting and child development. She has received awards for her nonfiction writing from the Oregon Writers Colony and Willamette Writers, and was the Grand Prize winner of the Redbook/Cup of Comfort Love Story contest.

Waltz has extensive editorial experience. She taught English composition for fourteen years, and has been in critique groups of professional writers for 18 years. Currently she teaches "Tell 'Em and Sell 'Em" workshops on writing and selling the personal story, and has worked with hundreds of workshop participants to craft excellent pieces.

Her early writing is under the names Samellyn Jones and Samellyn Wood.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (April 28, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580055575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580055574
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blended is a collection of stories written by writers about that crazy combination of people that makes up a family. Families come in all shapes and sizes and always have. Society used to sweep the untraditional ones under the carpet and still does, even though we are working on becoming more accepting. As a member of my own personal version of a blended family, I share the joys as well as the struggles that are the fabric of a step family.

Families are assembled and disassembled in a variety of ways. Each set of circumstances is unique. This collection of heartfelt stories shines a bright light on what it really means to be a part of a step family. No one asks to be part of one, the ebbs and flows of life lead some of us there.

I happen to know a little something about step families. I recently supported my step mother of 50 years through her end of life challenges. I have a host of nieces and nephews who came into my life through my sister's second marriage. Even though I have never given birth to a child, my granddaughter called me today. She's 16 and I'm helping her navigate the world of college admissions. The combinations that make up a step family are endless.

One thing is for certain, no two families are alike. The stories in Blended teach us that. Whether you are part of a step family or would just like some insight into the strength of the human spirit, Blended will take you there. It will make you laugh and cry and face head on every emotion in between. Life no matter how it is handed to us, is the life we are meant to live.
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Format: Paperback
Blended consists of a collection of heartfelt stories about step-families. Whether you are part of a blended family or just want to read these inspiring stories, Blended is a great book! My favorite story in the book was Betsy Graziani Fasbinder’s essay about her relationship with her step-son, Max. This book talks about so many different kinds of blended families; we read about parents who are widows, divorcees, or part of the LGBT community. The book has something for everyone. I definitely recommend checking it out!

I received a review copy from NetGalley.
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A family may be disassembled through divorce, death or desertion. This creates an emotional (and perhaps physical) upheaval with a disconnect from the familiar. As the family is re-assembled through the addition of another person or persons, it must adjust, adapt and grow into a new unit. This is a collection of stories - a wide variety of circumstances and challenges - about people combining their lives into new family units. Each is well written. Each writer is interesting and expresses well the unique challenges he or she faced with new children and other relations in their circle.

Those brought along without choice into a new family structure (children, in-laws, ex-laws, etc) might react poorly. I found the variety fascinating as well as the similarities. With great patience and determination on behalf of some members to love those who are unwilling, or perhaps willing but cautious about loving a newcomer ~ this book covers it. The challenges of identity (what names mean), traditions and custody exchanges are there. Having power and using it unfairly or not having power and dealing with it, are addressed. Many stories were fascinating in the manner that people adapted and grew and learned to love or accept not being loved.
This book gave me a greater appreciation for my dad's second wife's effort to blend with us. I would recommend "Blended" to anyone contemplating marrying ~ whether first marriage or otherwise. Relationships, adjustments and a desire to succeed in love are the universal human element.
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Format: Paperback
For the many real-life families that do not fall into the nuclear-framework, we need counter-narratives to balance the lopsided "wicked stepmother" stereotype and the first-family cultural bias that simply doesn't reflect the world we live in. Many of the personal essays gathered by editor, essayist, and family therapist Samantha Waltz for Blended console the underappreciated stepmothers who step in mid-rearing to help raise the children. Other essays provide inspiration for how stepfathers work their way through the many complicated emotions and scenarios that come with second families. Children, too, who are often torn between parent-loyalties and the differing values of two different households are given voice in this anthology. Waltz collected these essays because she was a stepmother in search of a counter-narrative to the wicked trope, a counter-narrative that is largely missing in books, films, television shows, and news headlines. She compiled these stories in the hopes of showing a model for “creating order and peace out of a tangle of step relationships,” and for offering consolation when order and peace is not possible.

Bravo to this collection of brave writers who expose the vulnerabilities, the tender moments, the confusions, the lost-dreams, and, yes, the rewards that come from partnering with someone who is already a parent. To say that "nuclear" is the only norm in our contemporary culture ignores the fact that many variations on the family theme have been common practice throughout the world for much of history. This book refuses to buy into that false story. This book celebrates the difficult but beautiful reality that many of us call our lives.
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