Blanche’s Book Club: ‘This is How it Always is’.

Please note, if you’re looking for reading and books on white privilege and being anti-racist, please head to my post “How to Fight Racism in 2020″. which is regularly updated to reflect new resources. 

I honestly am at a loss for words at what a rough weekend this has been for our country, on so many levels, and I know many of us are hurting right now.

As I mentioned in Saturday’s post, I do not have all of the answers. There were moments on Sunday when I just sat and cried because I feel like I have no answers.

The only thing I know how to do right now is to try and keep moving, keep posting here, keep writing… and definitely keep reading. So, today I’m sharing a book I read awhile ago.

I’m going to have to have a week of just straight book reviews because I’m reading them faster than I can review them 🙂

Anyway, the book was “This is How it Always is” by Laurie Frankel. Here’s the scoop:

So official.

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.

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.

When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

Laurie Frankel’s This Is How It Always Is is a novel 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.

Okay, I’m just going to come out with it: I didn’t love this book.

I was really looking forward to reading it, and then… because of the nature of the subject… I felt like the two main characters — the husband and wife — were always, always fighting.

I’m not saying their arguments were petty or unnecessary, but I almost felt it took away from Claude’s story. If you’ve read this book, I would love to know what you thought about it!

Many of the reviews on Goodreads said it seemed “too packaged” and that it didn’t reflect the struggles of a transgender child, which I can see.

So, this book was not a favorite, but I am always glad to have read something so I can see how I feel about it for myself.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club is reading is “Out East” by John Glenn.

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Need help with your blog? I can help with all of your digital marketing efforts – just let me know!

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