This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Although this book takes on an issue that is fairly timely given it’s prominence in the media these days, I don’t think it’s in any way a preachy book. It does a good job of exploring the issue without making the whole book about convincing someone to change their mind about the issue. Have you noticed that I’m not telling you much about the issue … that is intentional. I think this book is better without knowing much going in; to experience the issue via the story unfolding is priceless here. But, this book is about much more than just the issue … it’s about parenting, family, identity, nature vs nurture, working parents, etc.
As a parent, this book really spoke to me and that idea that we’re always trying to do our best for our kids but that we make mistakes and go down the wrong path sometimes … that we are never doing this parenting thing perfectly … that there really is no perfect. I loved this aspect of the novel – the exploration of parents doing the best they can for their family, the exploration of working both inside & outside of the home and trying to be true to your family’s needs. It all spoke to me so deeply.
I found this particular family to be so well drawn. I felt their pain, their sorrow, their joy and their love for one another in every single word. Exploring a hot button issue within that context gives this story that much more weight.
Although not a perfect book, I really loved this one and was able to overlook what I consider to be small issues (mostly things/components wrapping up a little too easy for me). I don’t think those small issues outweigh the impact the story and the characters had on me. I won’t forget this book for a long time. I highly recommend it!