Monday, February 27, 2017

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Summary from Amazon:

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, Clause 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.

 My Thoughts: 

     To be honest, I would have never picked up this book to read by myself.  If it weren’t for this being the ModernMrs. Darcy Book Club pick for February, I would have left this one alone.  Not because I refuse to learn about this topic but because it seems like a hard book to read, emotionally hard. 

     As a parent you want your child to be happy, to just be themselves.  Society always says “be original, be yourself” but we all know that most of the time that’s only okay if you are just like everyone else in your “originality”.  You are told to be unique but definitely not “different”.  What happens when your child’s originality and true self is something most wouldn’t understand? What do you do as a parent?

      As a mother I read this book with tears at the ready because I cannot imagine how I would deal with this situation.  It would be hard to decide how to handle everything that Rosie and Penn must handle in order to give Claude the life he deserves.  There were also many, many moments of laughter and relatable Parent Angst and Parent Guilt.  Ms. Frankel has a wonderful voice that gives you an unconventional story that is still something every parent can understand.  She will also challenge you to re-think your preconceived notions of normal.  I guarantee you will be thinking about Claude’s story long after you put the book down.  
4.5/5 stars

Author's site:


  1. This intrigues me especially with all the controversry over transgenders in the U.S.. It sounds like more people need to read this and educate themselves. Thanks for calling my attention to this.

    1. You're welcome! I finished this book over a week ago and it is still running around in my brain. It really makes you stop and think and to see this issue in a different light.