Saturday, February 4, 2017

This Is How It Always Is

Rosie and Penn are living the dream. Rosie is an ER doc in a busy Washington hospital. Penn manages their sprawling farmhouse and works on his novel while their five beautiful boys are at school. Sounds like the beginning of an afterschool special. And it sort of is – or should be. Claude, their youngest, most precocious, brilliant little boy is starting kindergarten and wants to wear a dress to school. The parents; educated, open minded, and busy raising a bunch of noisy boys - try to be understanding. The dress idea backfires and Claude winds up with a purse as a lunchbox. Teachers and administrators “say” they understand. But do they, really? Very quickly the questions become less straightforward, more complicated and some are just downright unanswerable. Claude wants to wear a pink bikini, grow his hair and take ballet. He wants to be “she” and would like to change his name to Poppy. With a house full of bright, creative children where individuality has always been encouraged, the parents allow this and more. When not everyone in their small town follows suit and a nightmare case in the ER leaves Rosie visibly shaken, the family moves thousands of miles away to begin again. Seattle seems the perfect location. Sadly, Rosie and Penn learn that secrets can’t stay buried forever, and the consequences affect the entire family. Their love has no limits and this is a rollercoaster ride they need to see through to the very end. No amount of medical knowledge (Rosie’s) and googling (Penn’s) can protect the parents from the heartbreak of a child’s tears. As the old saying goes: A parent can only be as happy as their least happy child. I highly recommend this educational, emotional and beautifully written novel by bestselling author Laurie Frankel. Her surprising sense of humor and heartfelt characters will leave you thinking about them long after you turn the final page. This should be read, this should be discussed.


  1. I just finished this a few days ago and thought it was fantastic. Such a perfect book club pick. My favorite book of 2017 so far.

    1. It was hard to review because there is so much to say. But this conversation has to start somewhere!

  2. Wow! Between you and Sarah, I'm sold. If only my TBR list for February wasn't so long. Hopefully, by the end of the month.