Rating – 4.5 out of 5
This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel is a story of a family with a secret. When Claude, the youngest of the brothers expresses that he is actually she, Poppy, her parents welcome the change with open arms. When the family makes a drastic change to keep Poppy safe from those who would harm her, her secret is born and as time goes on, takes on a life of its own.
“For my child, for all our children, I want more options, more paths through the woods, wider ranges of normal, and unconditional love.”
– This is How it Always is, Laurie Frankel
Why I liked This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel
This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel is incredibly well written and conceived. The complex emotions shown by every character surrounding the issue of Poppy’s gender are believable and ring true. I especially liked the reactions of her parents. While the reactions were different, and at times hard, ultimately both of her parents loved and wanted the best for Poppy. This book was brilliant in explaining how there are hard situations that come up when raising a family that even the best parents will not have the best reactions to.
Laurie Frankel in the afterword explains that she herself has a child like Poppy. I thought this was important because even if Frankel was not telling her specific story, she did have a deeper understanding of what it is like to have a child who does not identify with the gender they were born with. It shown through in the work with the inner emotions that all of the characters expressed. I enjoyed how well put together the narrative is, and hope that Frankel writes more in the future.
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