This is How It Always Is- Book Review

Well hello there!

I’m currently supposed to be doing NaNoWriMo and hitting my word count for the day- so of course it felt like an appropriate time to review the latest novel that I’ve finished and procrastinate the actual writing i’m meant to be doing. *shrugs*

I recently read, ‘This is how it always is’ by Laurie Frankel.

I chose this on a recommendation from my own mum and honestly, it’s one of my favourite books I’ve finished this year.

The story focuses on Rosie and Penn, parents of a largely happy but dysfunctional family of boys. When baby Claude is born however, he is not like his brothers.

He wants long hair, he wants to wear dresses and most importantly, when he grows up- he wants to be a girl.

The story is told from a third-person perspective primarily focusing on the bond between Rosie and her child (Claude/Poppy) and the struggles and turmoils that they must go through. Although it was nicely written, I had a few gripes with how easily and sporadically some of the events happened- as it lost a touch of reality at points.

Despite this, I found this book enchanting, unique, accepting and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who’s interested in the subject matter or just looking for a wonderfully written story.

Although it could have been written a tad-pretentiously,  I think Frankel, being the parent of a transgender child herself- has perfectly captured the unconditional love that comes from having a child who feels isolated and different in an unaccepting world-

“You can’t tell people what to be, I’m afraid,” said Rosie. “You can only love and support who they already are.”

The way that she’s written this story is so heartfelt that I cried at points, as she really made you feel the confusion that a child conflicted with their own identity would.

Ultimately, a brilliant novel.

4.75/5 from me.

Rach

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