Ways to define a family

It’s a major theme in my novel What’s Left, not that these are the answers there.

  1. Husband, wife, and kids under one roof. Often traditionally recast as a breadwinner and dependents.
  2. A mother and all who turn to her.
  3. Two romantic partners in their own place, with or without other relations nearby.
  4. Those connected by genetics and blood line. Say siblings or cousins.
  5. A shared last name. Or address.
  6. Those who join together as in-laws through brothers and sisters and so on.
  7. Grandparents and grandchildren.
  8. Inheritance.
  9. Memories, good or bad.
  10. Home of last resort.


In the novel, there’s also a shared business and an ethnic identity.

How else do you see a family in real practice? Or even as an ideal?