Review: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

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This book made me feel everything at once.  And then it did it all over again.  Sadness.  Confusion. Happiness.  Grief.  Empathy.  You name it, I felt it.  And I almost, note the use of the word ALMOST, cried.  I never cry over books.

Imagine having a child.  Not too much of a stretch for most of us.  But then imagine that child not being what you expected it to be.  Again, not so far off the mark for most parents.  Go deeper, though.  You thought you were getting another boy.  But then…

Rosie and Penn are the best parents.  With four boys, they’ve learned to accept whatever is thrown at them.  Quirks, idiosyncrasies, unusual hobbies and outfits-they’ve seen them all. When Claude comes along, however, they’re faced with something a bit different.  Because while Claude was born a boy, he felt different from a very young age.  He didn’t like typical “boy” things, preferring instead to wear dresses and pretending to be a princess.

So Claude’s parents handle it as they’ve handled everything else their kids have thrown at them, with acceptance.  Claude becomes Poppy.  Sadly, everyone isn’t as accepting as Rosie and Penn and Poppy’s four older brothers.  Secrets are kept and then unkept.  Change begins and then can’t be undone.  Along the way everyone struggles with who Claude/Poppy truly is and will be.

This is such an important book.  Rosie and Penn are the parents I’d want to have, especially if I were just a bit (or even a lot) different from what society expected me to be.  They’re not without faults, but everything they do stems from absolute love.  Their story is a reminder that the world is not a safe place for everyone.  And it’s our job to stand up for the Poppys of the world.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  This Is How It Always Is

 

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