Book Review: This is How it Always is

Wow. Just wow. I finished this book days ago and I’m still thinking about it. This fictional family is engaging and hilarious, and their ordinary moments are so beautiful. They remind me of when I wanted a super big family (you know, until I had kids and learned how difficult this parenting gig can be). Each character is fully developed and easily distinguishable despite the large cast, and the love store between the parents is one of the most lovely I’ve come across.

The language and voice of this novel is distinct and flows perfectly with the characters. The third person omniscient narrator does just enough foreshadowing and hinting without making it overly dramatic.

The main point of this book is that despite all odds and how mean the world can be, helping your child become who they’re meant to be trumps all. This is the beautiful story of a child becoming the right them, and the struggle that comes with it. The dangers of keeping secrets, the strain on a marriage that comes with it, and the general effect on a family is all throughly and gently explored. Each character is relatable, and even when they do un-likable things, their heart is often in the right place.

I feel like this book should be required life reading, because when you put a story on what was made a political issue you rediscover that there are real people with deep feelings under what’s been politicized. The people are what matter, and people deserve to be treated with respect and care. This book does a most excellent job of showing that.

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