This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always Is

Book - 2017
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"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. When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it's another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect. But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn aren't panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes. 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."--
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017.
ISBN: 9781250088550
Branch Call Number: FRANK
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 24 cm

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JCLCatherineG Aug 26, 2020

This was a wonderful story about transgender, family, and society! If you have the ability to listen to it, I highly recommend it. The narrator is excellent.

e
Einer2
Aug 23, 2020

A book that should be read and in a more perfect world understood by all. Don't we all need to be a bit middle at some times.

d
debann60
Jul 18, 2020

I enjoyed listening to the audiobook edition selected by one of my book clubs. It was an interesting story and one I am grateful was not and LBGTQ tragic ending, but I cannot say I would give it 5 stars or recommend it above other selections as I thought the characters unbelievable.

m
meechandcrow
Apr 25, 2020

I didn't want this book to end...like a fairy tale, a real life fairy tale it was ssoooooooo good. I need a sequel although we all know sequels are never ever as good as the original....

s
SusanJFerguson
Mar 24, 2020

Book Club

g
gillescoughlan
Jan 25, 2020

As someone who has friends who are trans-gendered, it was nice to read something that reflected their reality. However, at times it felt a little too didactic - like when the parents discuss options for the future. I'm sure it reflects the reality of family with trans members, but it felt a bit like it was trying to educate the public. That said, it was generally a good read and a good story.

t
tobyfear
Dec 28, 2019

Loved this book

m
mkkondrath
Dec 13, 2019

This is one of the best books I've ever read. Although it's a work of fiction, there is such "realness" to each of the characters and the story it tells. Whether or not one agrees with the choices made by this family, none of their decisions are made in haste, but only with loving consideration for each other.

s
selenium_dove_3
Dec 07, 2019

Amazing. Fantastic. The love is palpable in this thrumming, electrifying read. I'm beyond words. I don't often love books as much as I love this one, but when I do... READ THIS BOOK, okay? The romance of Rosie and Penn, the sibling love and sibling care between all the kids, all of it hums with love. You can tell that the author truly loves and cares about her characters, and that is something to behold. The deft, wise, twists of the plot, and the solemn yet playful narrative voice throughout is wonderful. I'm almost tempted to compare this author to J.K. Rowling, because the excellent plotline and rich, deep, voice, require just as much finesse.
I laughed, I cried, and I smiled throughout.

m
ms_mustard
Sep 29, 2019

secrets, fairy tales and Buddha are all elements in learning to approach life from the middle way
a loving, chaotic family of 7 learn how hard it is to hide the truth and why looking at the truth doesn't have to lead to disaster

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asamandalouise
Apr 14, 2019

From the author's note:
"I wish for my child, for all our children, a world where they can be who they are and become their most loved, blessed, appreciated selves. I've rewritten that sentence a dozen times, and it never gets less cheesy, I suppose because that's the answer to my question. That's what's true. For my child, for all our children, I want more options, more paths through the woods, wider ranges of normal, and unconditional love. Who doesn't want that? I know this book will be controversial, but honestly? I keep forgetting why.

a
asamandalouise
Apr 14, 2019

Penn agree. "Not ever. Not once. 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, well, nothing less than your child's entire future and happiness is at stake. It's impossible. It's heartbreaking. It's maddening. But there's no alternative."

a
asamandalouise
Apr 14, 2019

"Easy is nice, but it's not as good as getting to be who you are or stand up for what you believe in," said Penn. "Easy is nice, but I wonder how often it leads to fulfilling work or partnership or being." "easy probably rules out having children," Rosie admitted. "Having children, helping people, making art, inventing anything, leading the way, tackling the world's problems, overcoming your own. I don't know. Not much of what I value in our lives is easy. But there's not much of it I'd trade for easy either, I don't think." "But it's terrifying," she whispered. "If it were the right thing to do, wouldn't we know it?" "When was the last time something was bothering one of the kids or he was acting strange or he wasn't sleeping or doing well in math or sharing nicely during free-choice time, and we knew why?" "Knew why?" Rosie said. "Knew why. Absolutely knew what was wrong and what should be done to fix it and how to make that happen." "As a parent?" "As a parent." "Never?" "Never,"

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