This Is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel

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.

My Review: This is one of those books that you read with slight trepidation as the subject matter (transgender child) isn’t perhaps one you are familiar with or one that you think you can relate to or even understand so I began This is How It Always Is with an open mind and open heart.

Almost instantly I was transported into Rosie and Penn’s chaotic family life, swept away by their love and compassion and total unconditional support of their 5 children.  My heart broke several times during their story and as a parent I was total blown away by their wonderful, quirky but seemingly effective parenting skills.  Throughout the pages I felt myself tearing up and then smiling at the humour.

This Is How It Always is is a beautiful love story of two people who meet, fall hopelessly in love and then create a wonderful, unique family of 5.  This book questions how far a parent will go to protect their child.  A topical subject with a very important message and sensitively and beautifully told by Laurie Frankel.  Highly recommended and will be going into my Top Ten Books of 2018.

About the Author: Laurie Frankel writes novels (reads novels, teaches other people to write novels, raises a small person who reads and might someday write novels) in Seattle, Washington. She and her husband and daughter live on a nearly vertical hill from which Laurie can watch three different bridges when she’s staring out her windows between words.

Laurie’s earlier novels are THE ATLAS OF LOVE and GOODBYE FOR NOW.

THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS is her third novel.

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