Review: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This Is How It Always Is is a character-driven story about a family who’s youngest son starts identifying as a girl around age 5. I found the topic and emotions to be fascinating, but the details about every member of the family were too much for me. I like to get to know characters when reading a book, but I am always more interested in plot than character development. It felt necessary to examine both parents in this story, but it was sometimes too much, especially in regards to the mother’s career.

I loved learning about Claude and his transformation into Poppy. I adored the father, Penn, and his story-telling with all of the kids. Rosie, the mom, kind of drove me crazy. It’s hard to know how I would handle their situation, but I couldn’t deal with the way she was handling it.

This book would be a PERFECT book club book, and I was really wishing I’d read it with other people, so I could talk about it. There is a lot of thought provoking content. It would make for great discussion!

I enjoyed listening to this book, but as much as I loved the content, I just couldn’t rate it more than 3 stars. It just dragged on too long, with too many extraneous details.

Rating: 3 Stars

This Is How It Always Is
Laurie Frankel
Macmillan Audio
January 24, 2017
Audio CD

This is how a family keeps a secret...and how that secret ends up keeping them.

This is how a family lives happily ever after...until happily ever after becomes complicated.

This is how children change...and then change the world.

This is Claude. He's five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.

When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They're just not sure they're ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes.

Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it's about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don't get to keep them forever.

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