This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always Is

eBook - 2017
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A family reshapes their ideas about family, love, and loyalty when youngest son Claude reveals increasingly determined preferences for girls' clothing and accessories and refuses to stay silent.
"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. When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it's another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect. But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn aren't panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes. 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Flatiron Books,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250118523
Characteristics: 1 online resource (327 pages)
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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Oct 11, 2018

Reese Witherspoon's October 2018 book club selection.
This book will make you stop and think about so many issues and from so many perspectives. Definitely a lot of "What would you do?" moments to keep the reader turning pages.

Sep 13, 2018

This is a beautifully written novel tying together the narratives of many characters & the journey they are all collectively embarking upon together. Laurie Frankel has a unique style of writing that keeps the reader engaged and eagerly turning each page. Definitely a favorite novel of the year so far.

Jul 09, 2018

This book was beautiful, funny, and insightful with every member of the family fully realized and alive. Tenderly and perfectly read by Gabra Zackman, I could feel the emotions of each character and how they were feeling as they encountered different challenges along the way. The journey of this family, through their secrets to a new and better place out in the open was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.

ArapahoeAnnaL May 26, 2018

Well written and engaging, this domestic novel provides much pleasure and also food for thought. The teenage boys are funny and charming; the parents conscientious yet light hearted. Frankel does a beautiful job of bringing the reader into the world of a family seeking the happiest life for their transgender little girl. Frankel is the mother of a transgender child in real life. Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred reviews.

Apr 10, 2018

I thought the author revealed one particular family with a transgender child amidst a vast array of other family issues surrounding this as well as the unique challenges for families in general. Knowing this is fiction I was able to embrace those issues that are relevant, timely, and of great importance in understanding a bit of what raising a transgender child is like. Frankel came across sharp, witty, and creative.

Apr 02, 2018

I had such high hopes for this book. There aren’t enough books about this topic, and that’s the only reason I’m giving it 2 stars instead of 1. Rosie and Penn are parents to a transgender child, who transitions from being Claude to Poppy as the book progresses. Rosie and Penn are insufferable people, and I felt bad for their five children who were stuck with these obnoxious parents. Rosie is the type of woman who gives her kids quirky, ridiculous names, but then judges a teacher named Becky for not going by Rebecca. The real problem is that there are some really offensive things in this book. Throughout the book Penn tells his kids a fairytale, with Princess Stephanie being a clear stand-in for Poppy. Penn reveals that Princess Stephanie’s big secret is that she’s a night fairy. How did neither the author nor editor realize that equating a kid being transgender with being a fairy was problematic? The book gets even more offensive as Rosie takes their youngest child to Thailand. There Rosie is the Western hero, gracing everyone with her presence. The Thai village is so grateful to have Americans around that they let a 10 year old American kid become a teacher for a class of 25 Thai kids. These parts of the book reek of racism, with a gross message that Thai people are helpless and Thai culture exists solely to make Americans find themselves. There was so much potential in this book, and it was just totally squandered.

ArapahoeLesley Mar 22, 2018

This family portrait about a large family and their struggles and adjustments when young Claude wants to be Poppy, was beautifully written. The characters were lovely, the dialogue was funny and it was an overall uplifting read. Very well read by Gabra Zackman.

Feb 26, 2018

Loved this book. Love the way the author writes. Story that taught me and made me think - sensitive, insightful and often funny.

Nov 06, 2017

This book is a delight to read...I laughed a lot, cried some and found it provocative too. I've been telling EVERYONE to read this book. It's so well written on so many levels. Now I'm going back to read her earlier books.

ArapahoeAlyson Oct 24, 2017

I loved this book! Timely, nuanced characters, interesting domestic ficiton...
This would make a great book club choice and a good choice for anyone wanting to learn more about the experiences of a transgender person.

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