ARC Review: This Is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel

30809345Release Date: January 24th 2017
Publisher: Headline Review
Pages: 336
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon

A warm and touching story about what it means to be a family.


Rosie and Penn always wanted a daughter. Four sons later, they decide to try one last time – and their beautiful little boy Claude is born. Life continues happily for this big, loving family until the day when Claude says that, when he grows up, he wants to be a girl.

As far as Rosie and Penn are concerned, bright, funny and wonderful Claude can be whoever he or she wants. But as problems begin at school and in the community, the family faces a seemingly impossible dilemma: should Claude change, or should they and Claude try to change the world?


This is a really powerful and heart warming story, and one that I really enjoyed. It really made me think about family life. The topic is a really important one, and Frankel manages to balance this heavy subject matter with the sweet and funny moments of bringing up children.

The book is rather wonderfully written, though I did find it a little slow in some places, and maybe a little on the preachy side. That being said I really loved the Walsh-Adams family, they’re a wonderful unique bunch, and the sort of family I would have loved to live next door to as a child.

This Is How It Always Is will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. It’s thought provoking, it makes you think about what human beings are really like, how we make mistakes and attempt to do what’s best for those we love. It’s also interesting to see how the effect that Claude becoming Poppy has on the whole family – from the parents Penn and Rosie, to Poppy’s older brothers. I particularly loved Rosie and Penn, and really enjoyed the back story of their relationship. This Is How It Always Is is a frank and lovely story. One that make you smile, but also make you think.


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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: This Is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel

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