At first glance the novel This Is How It Always Is By Laurie Frankel might appear to be the story of a family trying to navigate the complexities of raising a transgender child. Laurie Frankel is herself the parent of a transgender child, but insists this is a work of pure fiction. As you read further into the novel, you realize that at its heart this is the story of a family simply trying to navigate life. Every family has their own unique set of variables and this family is no different. The book explores difficult parenting decisions such as: is it right to put one child’s needs above the needs of another? This book also touches upon societal issues: how do you protect and support your child while also preparing them for the harsh realities of life?
This is one of the first novels I have read in a while that actually made me stop and contemplate what I would do in the same situation. This book does an excellent job of highlighting the consequences of our decisions, yet also acknowledging nothing in life is final and we are always a work in progress. It is both thought provoking and also ultimately uplifting. If you are looking for the perfect Mid-February read, I highly recommend this novel.