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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

4.7 (490 )
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4.7 (451 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeannie M. 02-22-17
    Jeannie M. 02-22-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    15 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    3boymama 08-09-17
    3boymama 08-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Didn't think I would like it but loved it instead!"

    Magical and eye opening and should be mandatory reading for the whole hunan race. I especially liked the story within the story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bud lover's mom 08-03-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Beautifully written "

    The moving story of coming to terms with personal identity within the backdrop of family + friends.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Ousley 07-31-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing story"

    I listen to a lot of books and this narration and story are so amazing. Very enjoyable and worth your time!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 07-04-17
    Nicole 07-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    "loved it!"

    So heart warming and fantastically written. I love all the characters and was sad when the book ended.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Hichens 06-28-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Beautiful story. Beautiful performance."

    This book has enlightened me and given me courage to stand firm in what I know to be the most important thing I can do in the face of "different," show love. Be love.

    5 of 5 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.

    4 of 5 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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    17 of 21 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.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorna Boyd 09-20-17
    Lorna Boyd 09-20-17
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    "wonderful, thought-provoking tale"

    i goynd myself unable to stop listening, needing to know how things turn out for this family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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