RBCxHS October '18: This Is How It Always Is
Every family has secrets. Some secrets, no matter how well intentioned, can lead to unforeseeable complications.
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel is the Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick for October 2018! This book is enlightening, honest, heartbreaking, and absolutely beautiful.
I was blown away by Laurie' Frankel’s incredible novel. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when I started reading it. One of the best parts about following Reese’s Book Club is that I purchase a book with absolutely no idea what to expect. What started off feeling like a story about family and parenthood turned into SO MUCH MORE!
This book feels incredibly important. I absolutely loved it and I highly recommend it. You will cry and your heart will hurt at times, but you will also feel incredibly inspired and proud.
If you would like to find out more about Reese's Book Club and/or follow along as well, here are some helpful links!
Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine Website: hello-sunshine.com/book-club
Complete List of Monthly Picks: hello-sunshine.com/post/reeses-book-club-all-picks
*** Spoilers Ahead ***
I had no idea what this book was about. All I knew is that it was Reese Book Club pick and therefore, I had to read it. When I started the book, I wasn’t sure if this story was for me. I’m not a parent and it felt like this was a story about parenthood, which I have a zero percent interest in. Well, I was an idiot because this book is INCREDIBLE and it is about so much more. The moment you get an understanding of who the Walsh-Adams’ are, where they live, and how their lives operates - you are thrown into the middle of path-changing experience when Claude puts on his dress and is devastated to take it off. In that moment, you KNOW this is going to be a journey that impacts the lives of ALL the characters and will impacts your own life as well. I cannot put into world how much I loved the way that Frankel built up her story about Rose and Penn, the way she explains Claude and Poppy, and the way she explains the world at home and the world outside. The love, the fears, the hope, the heartbreak - it is all a very real part of anyone’s life, but it is especially heart wrenching when it comes to Claude and Poppy.
I have been, for quite some time, very passionate about my beliefs surrounding the civil and human rights for all, especially for those within the LGBTQ community. It is no secret that being transgender in the United States and other parts of the world is a problem for a lot of people (especially now, apparently). Many people have at least some point of reference for what it means to be gay or lesbian, but so few have any education whatsoever about what it means to be transgender. If you do not know a child or an adult who identifies as something other than the gender assigned to them at birth, chances are you have zero understanding of what being transgender or having gender dysmorphia means. That is why I absolutely love this novel. For those who have no idea, this book gives you one. For those who do have somewhat of an idea, this novel shows you how being completely accepting and supportive still doesn’t make things easier. That is the part that really resonated with me. What can a parent to do support their child when their insides do not match their outsides? Even if you offer all the love and support in the world, that does not mean that the world will offer that back. It absolutely breaks my heart. Our society is deeply rooted in gender binaries and there is a huge population that offers proof that gender is way more than a simple male and female dichotomy. Yet being transgender or gender fluid is not understood by many and there is such a prejudice against anyone who falls outside the lines. Okay, off my soapbox - this is about the book.
I love that Laurie Frankel wrote this incredible novel. I love that Reese used her platform to promote it. I love that this novel feels deeply personal because Frankel herself has a transgender child. While most of the novel is fictional, it feels intimate because the premise is something that Frankel has personally experienced.
As you can tell, I loved this book and think it was absolutely worth the read!