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This Is How It Always Is Audiobook

This Is How It Always Is: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is an audiobook 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.

©2017 Laurie Frankel (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (216 )
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4.6 (201 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeannie M. 02-22-17
    Jeannie M. 02-22-17 Member Since 2016
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    "This is a great book"

    Very timely now that the Trump administration plans to roll back protections for transgender kids in schools by allowing individual states to decide which bathroom these kids have to use. Hopefully readers will become more educated about this vulnerable population.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonny 02-01-17
    Bonny 02-01-17 Member Since 2017

    Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.

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    "Change is hard, especially if it's your child"

    This Is How It Always Is is a novel about a transgender child, Claude/Poppy, born into a large and loving family, how that family comes to accept that Claude wants to be a girl when he grows up, what they do to help that happen, the missteps they make, and secrets they try to keep.

    "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 it happen. If…you make the wrong call, well, nothing less than your child’s entire future and happiness is at stake."

    I'm not sure your child's entire future and happiness is at stake with parental wrong calls (at least I hope not), but parenting is full of tough calls, and dealing with transgender issues must be one of the toughest. That's part of what makes writing this book so brave; it's a reality for Laurie Frankel.

    Frankel has made it clear in interviews that this book isn't specifically about her daughter, but it does present in fictional form issues and feelings that parents of a gender dysphoric child may have to deal with. I wish this novel had been slightly less preachy, and there is a therapist character that I'm not sure provided any useful therapy, but I enjoyed reading This Is How It Always Is mainly because it made me think and delve further. Is gender dysphoria a sort of spectrum, ranging from people who simply enjoy dressing in clothes of the opposite sex, to people who truly want to be the opposite sex? I don't know, nor am I sure there are really answers to that question, but this novel made me want to find out more, and also hope that I've been an accepting, loving, and protective parent myself.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MAria-Teresa Jennings 02-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Important subject but a bit predictable"

    Interesting and made me consider a situation I never have, made me realize to be considerate if I ever can across such a situation in my community, but I didn't find the characters too developed - more skimmed over - possibly because the focus was elsewhere.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Gray Narrator USA 03-07-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Exquisitely written - Flawless narration"
    What made the experience of listening to This Is How It Always Is the most enjoyable?

    This story is so cleverly structured.... it is the kind that makes me think 'gosh if only all stories were this well plotted and woven together." A very clever and subtle treatment of difficult subjects.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of This Is How It Always Is?

    There were several but I don't give spoilers. Read it, you will not be disappointed.


    Have you listened to any of Gabra Zackman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I specifically will seek out titles she has narrated because she is that good at it. This title ranks favorably with her best.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, but not laughing or crying. The story prompted me into some self-examination which is not so easy. Self realization is usually pretty tough. This book facilitated that which I both appreciate and wince at.


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book. It is provocative, and will challenge the thinking person into true consideration of deeply held beliefs.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Zeuthen Nashville, TN USA 03-01-17
    K. Zeuthen Nashville, TN USA 03-01-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent performance"
    If you could sum up This Is How It Always Is in three words, what would they be?

    thoughtful, warm, meaningful


    What other book might you compare This Is How It Always Is to and why?

    Other books about families


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Thailand


    Who was the most memorable character of This Is How It Always Is and why?

    Poppy


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great performance. She brings all the characters to life for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Blue-Norton Westminster, CO, US 02-25-17
    Martin Blue-Norton Westminster, CO, US 02-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing"

    I loved it and didn't want it to end. I loved how the author explored gender identity in this engaging novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leeoklahoma 02-07-17
    leeoklahoma 02-07-17 Member Since 2015

    Retired greatgrandmother, Tutu.

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    "This is how it Lways is"

    An amazing book. I hated for it to end. She brought the reader into the story and made you a part of it too.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    frances haertling 01-30-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Not a great work of literature but informative"

    This is more of a handbook for raising a transgender child than anything else. In that light it is interesting and informative. Everything else is just padding to make it look like a novel. The characters are too perfect. They always say the right thing. All is just so rosy all the time even when bad things happen. Totally unrealistic. I do not recommend it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo-Ann W. 05-24-17
    Jo-Ann W. 05-24-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Worth at least 2 listens!"

    wonderful story! Makes you think and feel a range of thoughts and feelings while warming your heart as you laugh along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Robert Bean 05-24-17
    Robert Bean 05-24-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved everything about this book."

    Deep and rich, this book is thoughtful, moving, informative, important. A must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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