This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

This is How It Always Is

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, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.R...

Details This is How It Always Is

TitleThis is How It Always Is
Release DateJan 24th, 2017
PublisherFlatiron Books
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Lgbt

Reviews This is How It Always Is

  • Emily May
    “Well. Usually boys don’t wear dresses to preschool,” Rosie admitted carefully. “Or tights.”“I’m not usually,” said Claude. This, Rosie reflected, even at the time, was true. I've been going back and forth on whether I wanted to read this for a while. On the one hand, the premise interested me, the critics' reviews have been gushing, and the average GR rating is impressive. On the other hand, the few negative reviews have been cal...
  • Larry H
    I'm about 4.5, maybe 4.75 stars.Penn and Rosie fell in love almost instantaneously. Penn was a writer forever working on his "damned novel," while Rosie worked as an emergency room doctor forever on the night shift. When they decided to have children, especially as their family grew to four boys, they adopted a tandem approach to parenting—"It was just that there was way more to do than two could manage, but by their both filling every spare mo...
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    FLOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because this has been selected as"REESE'S BOOK CLUB" pick for October, 2018. I'm pretty sure Reese chooses her books by reading my blog because I seem to always read them first (j/k). Anyway, many congrats to Laurie Frankel and her ever-so-lovely novel. This must be like the book version of winning the lottery.Find all of my reviews at: Book: Also, be forewarned I highlighted pretty muc...
  • Trevor
    I'm really conflicted on the rating for THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS because on the one hand it's great that this book has so many positives & doesn't end on a pessimistic tone; we need LGBTQIAP+ stories that don't end in tragedy. (We need more of these books in general.) On the other hand, at times, there were such unrealistic situations taking place that I was wondering if the author was living in fantasyland- you'd have to suspend disbelief to enj...
  • (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
    This is How It Always Is was emotional, touching and at times a bit saccharine but I loved every page!This is a story of love, family and acceptance. It is also the story of young Claude who has gender dysphoria. Claude is the youngest of Rosie & Penn's five children and the result of their final attempt at having a daughter after 4 boys. Claude was a special child and a perfect addition to the family. He walked and talked at 9 months and was b...
  • Rose (Traveling Sister)
    This book has me WEAK. It's an education I didn’t even realize I needed. 500 rainbow night fairy stars and a spot on my favorites shelf for This Is How It Always Is.Claude is born the youngest of 5 boys, but HE isn't Claude at all. SHE is Poppy. Her family struggles with the correct language to use regarding her body dysphoria. Hard questions like hair and wardrobe turn, with age, into much harder ones: how do we handle hormone blockers and whe...
  • Elyse
    Happy New Year! A gorgeous eye catching book cover....A story with a lot of heart...Kept me reading into the New Year early morning hours. I enjoyed this novel very much - but it’s not without flaws. The ‘very-VERY’ beginning ....”Once Upon a Time Claude Was Born”, I felt the writing was ‘too busy’- ‘too wordy’...But then....It got FUNNY...really hysterical: We get a glimpse of Rosie and Penn’s dating life,(inspiring dating li...
  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
    FOUR STARSThis is the October pick for the RW book club. If you look at the books Reese Witherspoon has selected this year since she started her book club, you can almost see her mentally ticking off the subjects/genres she intends to publicize so the world can become a more enlightened place. Hooray for Reese!This touching story checks off Reese's LGBTQ box. The author was inspired by her own son who decided one day to wear a dress to a party an...
  • Skyler Autumn
    3 Stars This is How It Always Is, is a book I don't usually gravitate towards call me a chicken but when I read a blurb about a transgender child coming into their own I right away go to all the negative and horrible people that child will have to endure in their adolescents. Then I start thinking how societies the worst, the obstacles the little kid is going to have to face so early on in life, and then I weeping in the middle of Indigo all beca...
  • JanB
    This book takes on the subject of transgender children, a subject the author knows of personally, as one of her children is transgender. But really, there are lessons here for everyone about unconditional love and acceptance of anyone who is different.Penn and Rosie have 5 boys. Claude is the youngest and at a young age it becomes clear he feels he should have been born a girl. The title refers to the struggle all parents face: "This is how it al...
  • Suzanne Leopold
    Rosie and Penn are parents of five boys in Madison, Wisconsin. From a young age it was clear that their youngest son Claude was different from the other boys in the family. At three years old, when asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, he replied “a girl”. During the next few years his family observes him wearing dresses and barrettes in his hair.Acting in the best interests of their child, Rosie and Penn are supportive of Claude’s f...
  • Jennifer
    “You never know. You only guess. This is how it always is. You have to make these huge decisions on behalf of your kid, this tiny human whose fate and future is entirely in your hands. Who trusts you to know what's good and right and then to be able to make that happen. You never have enough information. You don't get to see the future. And if you screw up - if with your incomplete contradictory information you make the wrong call - nothing les...
  • Margitte
    From the blurb: 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, Claude says, he want...
  • Heather
    The only reason I finished this is because I think the topic of discussion is important and I wanted to give it my attention. This book is a character study, and not just of Claude/Poppy, but the entire family. I made no real connections with any of them individually, but did feel the love amongst them as a whole. Character studies are just not my thing. I don't enjoy it. I don't want to study fictional characters this closely. The writing style ...
  • Sue Dix
    I don't want to give any hints as to what this book is about. Don't read about it first, don't read the blurb on the dust jacket. Don't read a recap. Just read it, as I was told to do. You won't regret it.
  • lucky little cat
    Speaking as the mom of a mildly autistic child, I'm recommending this book as a valuable emotional resource for any parent of a child with differences from the norm. (Whatever the heck "norm" is.) I am not a perfect parent. I yell, I swear, and worst of all, I have to blink and think twice before defending my child from random blatant unfairnesses the world visits upon her. I hate that I hesitate. For example, when a teacher assigned my daughter ...
  • Melissa (Mel’s Bookshelf)
    I jumped on the bandwagon for Reece Witherspoon’s book club pick this month. With its controversial and fascinating storyline I couldn’t resist! I listened to the audio version.When Rosie and Penn have their fifth son, It seemed like that was it for Rosie’s dream of a daughter. But as Claude starts to grow, the whole family begin to realise that there is something different about their youngest son and brother. At first they assume Claude a...
  • Dan Radovich
    Did this novel change my mind? No. Did it sway me at all to consider changing my mind? No. That being said, Frankel has written a helluva good book. The Walsh-Adams family is filled with males; Father Penn and sons Roosevelt, Ben, Rigel and Orion (twins) and Claude. Mother Rosie is the lone female; until one day Claude decides he wants to grow up to be a girl - and wants to be named Poppy. On the first day of Kindergarten, due to a dead goldfish ...
  • sue
    I must say that the complex message in the blurb is what first attracted my curiosity I had heard or seen nothing about the hype of this book until recently which is good for me, I could walk in open minded and away from distractions from the hype.The first half of the book was a struggle for me. There is a huge amount of narration and not much dialogue although at times even the dialogue was hard for me to follow at times to.I got it though. I g...
  • Sandra
    When I started this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it. I thought it was going to be preachy and would try too hard to sway the reader to form an opinion. It didn't. Frankel simply told a beautiful story about what the power of secret/lie does to the fabric of a family. Well done!
  • Mary Ruthless
    I enjoyed this book but definitely had some issues with the narrative. This novel is about a family. Not just any family though, but the absolutely fairy-tale perfect family. Penn and Rosie meet in college and it's basically love at first sight. Even before first sight because they both had weird feelings before their first date. *heavy eye roll* Penn is studying to be a writer and Rosie is studying to become a doctor. Her schedule keeps her from...
  • Karen
    Maybe just a little too preachy, and a little too neat. I suspect that: a vast majority of transgender children do not have such understanding and accommodating parents and siblings, most families with transgender children can not afford to move a few states away to a neighborhood of their choice in the hopes of escaping discrimination, and it is not nearly as simple for even a young child to "pass" as a different gender in a new school system fo...
  • Barbara
    WOW!!! I found this novel amazing: amazing domestic fiction, amazing literature, amazing subject matter. I urge all readers who read to learn of the human condition; who read to consider ideas; who read to change your perspective on the world; who read for the love of reading to read this novel.It’s a story of a family with five boys, and these boys are hilarious and rambunctious. The mother is an Emergency Physician and the father is an unpubl...
  • Ali Edwards
    I feel a whole lot of love for this story. For the characters, for the message of acceptance and inclusion, for the nuances of the middle-path. Highly recommended.
  • Eilonwy
    Rosie and Penn Walsh-Adams are living a fairy tale, raising four boys in a farmhouse just outside Madison, Wisconsin. Rosie makes a good living as an ER doctor, and Penn is a house-parent while he works on his “damned novel,” known as the DN. Then they decide to have a fifth child. Claude appears to be another boy -- but he isn’t like any little boy his parents, or anyone else around them, expected. Because nothing and no one has prepared R...
  • Michelle
    3.5 starsThis is How It Always Is was well on its way to being a 5 star read for me. I LOVED parts 1 and 2. But after that, the book kind of fell off the rails for me. Part 3 just didn't seem to mesh well with the rest of the book. Part of why I liked the first parts of the book so much were the interactions between all the siblings and their parents. When those were absent for Part 3, it just felt like it was missing something.I also felt like i...
  • Min
    Note: People who have read my book reviews either here or on my blog will note that this review is a departure from how I generally review books. I feel this is necessary because of my strong reaction to this book.I wish I hadn't read the Author's Note letting me know how deeply personal this story was to Frankel because she has a transgender child, as it makes me hesitant to write a thoroughly honest review (as if she's ever going to read this!)...
  • Alaina Meserole
    This is How It Always Is was a pretty good book. It was a lot more insightful to read than I thought it would be because it dealt with the struggles that a transgender goes through. However, it's not one person dealing with this struggle, no it's friends, families, and loved ones. This book provided the good and the bad and the ugly of it all. Not everything goes has planned because sometimes decisions can bite you in the ass.I absolutely loved t...
  • Monica Kim
    BIG congratulations to Laurie Frankie, her incredible novel “This Is How It Always Is“ is the latest pick for Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine! I read this novel last year, and it was one of my favorites of 2017. Highly recommend it! .“Every once in a while, I read a book that opens my eyes in a way I never expected.” — Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine book pick).."I wish for my child, for all our children, a wo...
  • Louise Wilson
    Rosie & Penn have 5 sons. Then one day, the youngest son, Claude, announces he should have been born a girl, and wants to be known as Poppy.The story is so current just now. We are hearing more and more of children who have been born the wrong gender. The author deals with the subject with a mixture of humour and honesty, but it's tactful at the same time. It covers transgender by expressing people's beliefs in such a young age. A beautifully wri...