Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always Is

A Novel

Laurie Frankel

Flatiron Books

This Is How It Always Is READ AN EXCERPT →

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“It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think.” —Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies

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.

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.

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.

EXCERPT

Once Upon a Time, Claude Was Born



But first, Roo was born. Roosevelt Walsh-Adams. They had decided to hyphenate because—and in spite—of all the usual reasons but mostly so their firstborn could have his grandfather’s name without...

Reviews

Praise for This Is How It Always Is

“A bold, honest, heartbreaking story about the choices parents make, and how life goes on, but not always according to plan. This must-read novel… is the perfect pick for book clubs.”
—PopSugar

“One of the most timely and big-hearted family stories I have read in a long time…This is a beautiful novel about the unexpected curve balls of parent and sibling relationships, and the limitless boundaries of family love.”
—Bustle

“This wise and often funny novel is a compassionate lesson in discovering and welcoming what makes each of us unique.”
Redbook

“Sharp and surprising. This is a wonderfully contradictory story—heartwarming and generous, yet written with a wry sensibility.”
Publishers Weekly ("Pick of the Week," starred review)

"Well-plotted, well-researched, and unflaggingly interesting...As thought-provoking a domestic novel as we have seen this year."
Kirkus (starred review)

“I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of this very special book about a family with a secret. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think. Preorder your copy now.”
—Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Truly Madly Guilty

“Laurie Frankel writes with more heart than anyone I can think of...With emotional acuity, admirable bravery, utter compassion, and complete understanding, she’s created a family attempting to forge a path through one of life’s most mystifying challenges: how to define what it is that makes your child who he or she is: unique, beloved, and whole. This is a novel everyone should read. It’s brilliant. It’s bold. And it’s time.”
—Elizabeth George, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Banquet of Consequences

“In This is How It Always Is, Laurie Frankel spins a beguiling tale of a sprawling, loving, ever-changing, unconventional, and yet completely typical modern family as they make their way though a world with no easy answers and no magic solutions. How does Frankel pull off such a story? With great humor and candor. With a powerful narrative voice, and a forthrightness so compelling, we are drawn into the family circle to laugh and cry with them, and to ponder issues great and small. An intimate, wonderfully moving novel that is especially relevant in today’s world.”
—Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of A Sudden Light and The Art of Racing in the Rain

“This is a perfect book club book, a book that should be read in schools, and one of my favorite reads of the year. A challenging subject handled with honesty, grace, humor, dignity, and most of all, love.”
—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

“A lively and fascinating story of a thoroughly modern family and the giant, multifaceted love that binds them. This Is How It Always Is sparkles with wit and wisdom.”
—Maria Semple, New York Times bestselling author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette

“Laurie Frankel has written one of those very rare, special novels that examines the way we live—in our homes, in our families, in our bodies—with an astonishing balance of humor, complexity, and above all, kindness. This Is How It Always Is teaches us to look beyond the traditional binary oppositions of boy vs. girl, right vs. wrong, real vs. make-believe, and to find courage and beauty in the in-between.”
—Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Laurie Frankel

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.

Laurie Frankel

Natalia Dotto