New York Times Bestseller
The Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick
"Every once in a while, I read a book that opens my eyes in a way I never expected." --Reese Witherspoon (Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine book pick)
Bustle's 17 Books Every Woman Should Read From 2017
PopSugar's Our Favorite Books of the Year (So Far)
Refinery29's Best Books of the Year So Far
BookBrowse's The 20 Best Books of 2017
Pacific Northwest Book Awards Finalist
The Globe and Mail's Top 100 Books of 2017
Longlisted for 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award
"It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think." --Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies
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.
- ISBN-13: 9781250088550
- ISBN-10: 1250088550
- Publisher: Flatiron Books
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
- Page Count: 336
Sharing your truth
BookPage Top Pick in Fiction, February 2017
After four sons, Dr. Rosie Walsh and her husband, writer Penn Adams, thought maybe—just maybe—their fifth child would be a girl, Poppy, named for Rosie’s deceased sister. But instead, the baby was another boy, Claude. Until he decided he wasn’t.
The revelation didn’t shake the Walsh-Adamses. Claude would be allowed to wear a dress. Claude would be allowed to change his name. Claude would become Poppy. Laurie Frankel’s third novel, This Is How It Always Is, doesn’t center on a family’s struggle about how to handle a child’s transition from a he to a she. It’s about everything that follows.
Rosie and Penn find peace in Poppy’s kindergarten class, but Rosie worries about Poppy’s future in their relatively sheltered Minnesota town. After much research, the family is off to Seattle, which they’re sure will be a more supportive environment for Poppy.
And it is. But they also have four other children to consider. Their new friends in Seattle know Poppy only as a girl, and over time, it becomes obvious that keeping the secret is taking a toll on the rest of the family.
This Is How It Always Is isn’t only a novel about the challenges of life with an atypical child. It’s a story about the challenges of parenting and love, period. Frankel draws from her own experience as the mother of a second-grade girl who was born male. In writing, she offers a piece of advice: “Secrets make everyone alone.” But she also believes that we find one another by telling our stories. This beautiful story is deeply personal, a heart-rending glimpse of an
author writing her way to understanding.