This Is How It Always IseBook - 2017
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Whidbey Reads is an annual program that brings Whidbey Island residents together to read and talk about a common book. A series of public events focuses on themes related to the story and the shared experience serves as a springboard to explore commonalities and differences. For 2020, the Whidbey Reads Committee picked Frankel’s 2017 novel, “This Is How It Always Is.” It was a Pacific Northwest… (more)
From Library Staff
In this compelling, thought-provoking novel a family reshapes their ideas about family, love, and loyalty amidst conflict over their youngest child's identity.
In an interview with Sno-Isle Libraries staff, crime writer Kevin O'Brien said, "It’s about a couple with six sons, the youngest of whom wants to be a girl. Laurie is a dear friend and one of the Seattle 7 Writers. It’s so fun to know the author of a book you love!"
From the critics
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From the author's note:
"I wish for my child, for all our children, a world where they can be who they are and become their most loved, blessed, appreciated selves. I've rewritten that sentence a dozen times, and it never gets less cheesy, I suppose because that's the answer to my question. That's what's true. For my child, for all our children, I want more options, more paths through the woods, wider ranges of normal, and unconditional love. Who doesn't want that? I know this book will be controversial, but honestly? I keep forgetting why.
Penn agree. "Not ever. Not once. You never know. You only guess. 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 that happen. You never have enough information. You don't get to see the future. And if you screw up, if with your incomplete, contradictory information you make the wrong call, well, nothing less than your child's entire future and happiness is at stake. It's impossible. It's heartbreaking. It's maddening. But there's no alternative."
"Easy is nice, but it's not as good as getting to be who you are or stand up for what you believe in," said Penn. "Easy is nice, but I wonder how often it leads to fulfilling work or partnership or being." "easy probably rules out having children," Rosie admitted. "Having children, helping people, making art, inventing anything, leading the way, tackling the world's problems, overcoming your own. I don't know. Not much of what I value in our lives is easy. But there's not much of it I'd trade for easy either, I don't think." "But it's terrifying," she whispered. "If it were the right thing to do, wouldn't we know it?" "When was the last time something was bothering one of the kids or he was acting strange or he wasn't sleeping or doing well in math or sharing nicely during free-choice time, and we knew why?" "Knew why?" Rosie said. "Knew why. Absolutely knew what was wrong and what should be done to fix it and how to make that happen." "As a parent?" "As a parent." "Never?" "Never,"
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