Reviews

“[Sandler] delves deeply, thoughtfully, and often humorously into history, culture, politics, religion, race, economics, and of course, scientific research… Will she or won’t she have another?  The beauty of her in-depth exploration is that the larger questions she poses make this one seem beside the point.” – Lori Gottlieb, The New York Times Book Review

“There is a welcome strain of argument undergirding this well-researched and lively book: Looking out for your own happiness is not inconsistent with being a good mother. This is a vital part of the conversation that’s not being discussed in the chatter surrounding middle-class parenting.” – Jessica Grose, The New Republic

“The impressive depth of Sandler’s reporting lends necessary rigor to important, emotionally complex, questions of family size, parental well-being, and public policy.  The result is a swift and absorbing read… Her fervently argued book may be enough to change your mind and the national conversation.”  — Lauren F. Freidman, Psychology Today

“I couldn’t put it down.The book — despite what the cover says — isn’t really about only children. This is what it is: It’s about relationships with our kids, our spouse, our parents, and most importantly with ourselves. It’s also about how scientific studies are often publicized to suit our own notions of right and wrong. Or ignored, if they don’t match our morals. Lauren isn’t proselytizing, she’s just stating it like it is. Seductively honest.” – Randi Hutter Epstein, Huffington Post

“Sandler certainly has a dramatic touch with language, and in her book she adduces a prodigious amount of reporting, data and research… mitigated by a sense of humor. The reader comes away from the book informed and sympathetic. Sure to light up mommy blogs and playground chatter.” – Nora Krug, Washington Post

One and Only should be required reading for any parent who wants to have only one child but thinks they should have two “for the sake of the children.” It should also be read by parents of multiples who feel that their one-child peers are somehow “less” as parents. “ – Michelle Richmond, San Francisco Journal of Books

One and Only is the thought-provoking result of her mission for the truth about what it means to grow up without siblings. No one-size-fits-all life plan is selfishly pushed on the reader. Instead, Sandler provokes a larger, more intellectual conversation that amasses the facts but allows the individual – now better informed – to decide for themselves.”  — Ian Floyd, Kirkus

“Why, Sandler asks, are prejudices about “selfish” and “maladjusted” single kids (and their parents) so widespread in our culture, despite much evidence to the contrary? Part of the answer has to do with myths about the happiness of singletons and their families, which Sandler debunks, but the book has a broader scope that makes it worthwhile for anyone interested in government policy and contemporary American culture.” – Katherine Stewart, Religion Dispatches

“These questions have never been more relevant… One and Only is peppered with lyrical anecdotes of her daily life (a tangle of limbs in a “family hug,” a bedtime standoff) that seem to remind us of every family’s own intense, wonderful, maddening dynamic.” – Nona Willis Aronowitz, The American Prospect

“Journalist Lauren Sandler argues persuasively that being born a singleton isn’t a tragedy, but gift—both for a kid and their parents.” – Sarah Weir, Yahoo

“One and Only” has been a great solace to mothers of only children (this writer included).” – Wendy Paris, The Jewish Week

“[Sandler} cuts at the core of one of modern women’s most stubborn, self-defeating beliefs — that unless we are everything to all people, we are nothing, that our worth is tied up in our limitless capacity (at least when it comes to caring for others), that we don’t actually deserve to live a selective life and take or leave a number of energy-sucking pursuits.” — Courtney Martin, CNN

“The point is to ‘live the life you want,’ making choices based on individual desires and what is best for one’s particular family. Onlies, parents of onlies, and readers still on the fence will find the book illuminating and affirming.”  — Publishers Weekly

“Provocative, smart, and searingly honest, One and Only is a fascinating exploration of what it means to be an only child. Just as she did with Righteous, Lauren Sandler delivers a work of fierce reporting, tender storytelling, and clear-eyed cultural analysis.” — Susan Cain, author of the New York Times bestselling Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

“Thanks to Lauren Sandler’s One and Only, we “onlies” can no longer blame our troublesome foibles on our lack of siblings. Through a combination of wide-ranging research and sharp personal reflection, Sandler powerfully debunks generations of myths about the loneliness, selfishness and general neuroticism of only children. Her book is a must-read both for adult only children and parents of “just” one — and an eye-opener for anyone interested in a fresh look at the meaning of connectedness.” — Judith Warner, author of the New York Times bestselling Perfect Madness: Motherhood in an Age of Anxiety

“Lauren Sandler’s book is eloquent, articulate, persuasive, and whip-smart. But its greatest virtue may be its restraint. This is, thank goodness, no faddish argument for only children. One and Only is something much wiser and much, much more important. It’s a plea to disregard our facile (and demonstrably incorrect) stereotypes about family size and accept a universal truth: one size does not fit all.”  – Daniel Smith, author of the New York Times bestselling Monkey Mind

“Lauren Sandler draws on cutting-edge research, interviews, and personal experience to explore what it means to have, or be, an only child. Her thought-provoking—and often surprising—analysis will fascinate anyone interested in how family circumstances shape our lives.” — Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project

“Lauren Sandler weaves a gripping tale of motherhood and modernity, bypassing the mommy wars to expose the wider conditions in which parenting choices are made.  Sandler tackles personal life and politics with intellect and heart, reminding us all that we are all both citizens of a family and the world.   As an only child and mother of twins, I find myself both reflected and tested.  She’s one of the most cogent commentators on feminism and family there is.” — Deborah Siegel, PhD, co-editor of Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo

“One and Only is a pleasure. With wit, warmth and keen intelligence, Lauren Sandler skewers the myths about only children and their parents. If you’re tired of all the foolish generalizations, buy several copies of this book, keep them in your diaper bag and hand them out at the playground!” — Liza Featherstone, author of Selling Women Short 

“One and Only is a thoughtful and, even more importantly, a feelingful book about being an only and having an only but also about being a parent and a child. But there’s more. Who knew the politics of population could be so exciting? Lauren Sandler’s prose sparkles as she tears at the old cliches of unhappy singletons, cheery nuclear families, “a heir and a spare.” She also questions the other cliches that take their place –  liberated parents with a single kid, up all night at the smoky party. Only children or people who have only children will find comfort in these pages and parents generally should read it to understand their own choices. This book, like everything Lauren Sandler writes, is lush and riveting.” – Alissa Quart, author of Hothouse Kids

 

Here are some nice things the press has said about my other writing.

“Sandler has an old-fashioned reporter’s knack for telling details. She clearly has a talent for getting people to open up about their beliefs, and she has enough respect for her subjects that she rarely indulges in caricatures.” —The Washington Post

“Sandler is engaging, smart and compassionate.” —People

“Always forthright. She writes with keen insight and empathy…vivid, spirited.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“With a flair for storytelling and description, Sandler provides a riveting read for anyone interested in generation next.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“Written in a clear, crisp journalistic style…Sandler’s excellent and frank reporting does much to shed a spotlight on the complexities.” —The Boston Herald

“She makes no bones about approaching her interviewees with skepticism, and the book is loaded with her sly comments and hilarious observations. At the same time, she’s more than a fair listener.” —Time Out New York

“Balanced and nuanced, Sandler draws characters deftly and has an ear for dialogue.” —The Village Voice

“Compassion for her subjects and brisk writing make her increasingly alarming story go down easily.” —The Rocky Mountain News

“A moving and thought-provoking report, worth a look no matter what side you fall on.” —The Dallas Morning News

“You will find Sandler’s book worth every penny.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune