This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel is a novel that centers around a family. Rosie and Penn and their five young boys: Roo, Ben, Orion, Rigel and Claude, are living in Wisconsin where Rosie is an ER doctor and Penn is an aspiring author. Rosie and Penn have settled into their life with their five sons despite the fact that Rosie had always hoped for a daughter after loosing her sister to cancer as a child. Claude, the youngest, always stood out from his brothers but one day asks Rosie if he can wear a dress to school. What at first appears to be eccentricity, and then "just a phase", slowly transforms into more as Claude becomes Poppy.
After living for awhile as "Claude who is now Poppy" in Wisconsin, the family moves to Seattle to try and protect their family and start over where no one knows Poppy's past. As Rosie and Penn try and do everything to ensure each of their children are happy and successful, they find themselves navigating a world that isn't as understanding.
I read this book as the October pick for Reese's Bookclub x Hello Sunshine and I absolutely loved it. Frankel writes in a way that absolutely transports you into this family and you truly feel each and every moment of pain, joy and heartbreak. This family is trying to pave their way through a murky path and do right by their children where often the right answer isn't clear. It was a true reminder that we are all always just doing the best that we can. My heart swelled through this journey with Rosie, Penn, Poppy and all of the boys. A true reminder in that different isn't weird, it's magical and we should all celebrate our differences that make each of us uniquely us.
This Is How It Always Is is a touching novel about family and finding our true happiness that I would recommend to anyone who wants to be moved by the power of being true to ourselves.
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