This Is How It Always Is

By Laurie Frankel

This Is How It Always Is: A Novel by [Frankel, Laurie]

5 out of 5 stars

Secrets have a way of coming out, no matter how things seem to be good at the time. Penn and Rosie have a good life, a busy life. Penn is a writer, trying to hammer out a novel, or his DN (damn novel) as they call it. Rosie is an emergency room doctor. They have four sons and Rosie does all the “tricks” to conceive a boy. But, Claude is born. Claude is a smart child but there is something different about him. He loves to dress in girls’ clothes. He wants to be a girl. He IS a girl. They start him in school with everyone knowing that Claude is now Poppy. But things happen and Rosie thinks the best thing to do is move away from their farm home in Wisconsin to Seattle. Everyone is happy about the move except their oldest son Roo but they go and start life anew. When their neighbors tell them that they are not going to confuse their children and tell them the truth about Poppy, the family starts living a lie. But as we know, the truth eventually comes out. What lengths do parents go to protect their children? And what life lessons do we learn from out children?

This is such a beautifully written story about family, love and acceptance. When Rosie and Claude go to Thailand for a while, we see just how different our country is about acceptance than so many other ones. There is so much love threaded throughout the book whether it’s the brothers protecting Poppy, or Penn looking into Poppy’s future, or Rosie worrying about Poppy’s future, this family is love. Humor is a big factor in this family as is a wonderful fairy tale that Penn is writing all through the story, not realizing that this is his story.  A lot of warmth and love went into the writing of this book and I applaud Ms. Frankel for doing such an open, honest job. I look forward to reading more of her books.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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