This Is How It Always Is (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Fans of Maria Semple will love Laurie Frankel's novel, This Is How It Always Is, about a Wisconsin family coming to terms with their youngest child's gender dysphoria. When they move to Seattle to make a safer life for Poppy, her origin becomes a secret that hangs over the head of each family member, affecting everyone's life differently. I particularly enjoy how Frankel uses movement between places to reflect advances in the family's growth. Frankel never seems preachy; the story never feels overtly political. It is instead a witty, thoughtful novel reminding us of the importance of family and being one's authentic self. -Liz

— From Spring Booknotes 2017


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.

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.

About the Author

Laurie Frankel is the author of the novels This Is How It Always Is, The Atlas of Love, and Goodbye for Now. She lives in Seattle with her family.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781250088550
ISBN-10: 1250088550
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: January 24th, 2017
Pages: 336
Language: English