When one third of Australian families are a variation on the nuclear model, no family should ever feel any less authentic than another. Yet stigma remains. When families blend, they can move from one state to another. Children from different fathers merge into new homes. Family holidays can be huge, with all children and all parents. New families invent new routines and rituals to establish a household rhythm. And don't forget the double sets of school uniforms and pyjamas that exist under different parents' roofs. Welcome to the new normal of family life. It is a path Chloe Shorten has tread. The first person in her family to divorce, Chloe was surprised by the lingering stigma and unexpected tripwires for families not fitting the traditional cookie-cutter model. She was also heartened by the sensible advice she unearthed, the resilience of her children and the joy of a watching a new step-parent. Chloe Shorten tells of her own courageous quest to create a new normal. Honest, sincere and warm hearted, this is the story of the modern household and the idea of who qualifies as 'a family' in the 21st century.
Chloe Shorten is a public affairs specialist. She has been committed to improving the lives of women, children and people with disabilities. She is the mother of three marvellous children, Rupert, Georgette and Clementine and is married to Bill Shorten, the leader of the Opposition. Chloe also likes to sing jazz in her spare time.