Perfect Families: * Tick off museums in the guidebook
* Tidy everything away neatly
* Work hard and play fair
* Show respect for one another
Real Families: * Start fights in the Louvre
* Keep all their worldly goods on the stairs and in the kitchen
* Do their homework on the school bus and cheat at Monopoly
* Tie the shoelaces of sleeping uncles together after Christmas dinner
With her customary humour and reliably robust commonsense, Libby Purves celebrates family life in all its aspects. Her accounts of sibling rivalry and the pitfalls of family Christmas will provoke rueful laughter and strike chords of recognition; her practical tips on dealing with everything from marriage maintenance to money matters, testing times to trips and treats, provide essential help for the hard-pressed parent. Best of all is her reassuring reminder that no one else has a perfect family either!
Libby Purves is a writer and also a broadcaster who has presented the talk programme Midweek on Radio 4 since 1984 and formerly presented Today. She is a main columnist on the Times and in 1999 was named the Granada "What the Papers Say" Columnist of the Year, and awarded a O.B.E for services to journalism. She lives in Suffolk with her husband the broadcaster and writer Paul Heiney.