This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel


Release Date: January 24, 2017

My Review:

Rosie and Penn are parents of five boys in Madison, Wisconsin. From a young age it was clear that their youngest son Claude was different from the other boys in the family. At three years old, when asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, he replied “a girl”.  During the next few years his family observes him wearing dresses and barrettes in his hair.

Acting in the best interests of their child, Rosie and Penn are supportive of Claude’s feelings. He begins to transform into a girl named Poppy.  Her parents make provisions with the school so that Claude can be Poppy outside of their home. Conflicts and hostilities develop from their community causing them to move. They relocate to Seattle where they seek a fresh start for Poppy and their family. In Seattle, they decide to keep her transgender status a secret.  Ultimately, this causes stress and grief to the entire family.

This novel is about two parents seeking optimal choices for their family where one of their children is transgender. It is a strong reminder that we should judge less and embrace the differences in people. Laurie Frankel writes a heartfelt novel and has a transgender child.