Book Review: Not Your Average Book Club Book

This is How It Always IsThis is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The cover of this book brings to mind what I like to call “book club books”, meaning books that appeal to a lot of women- my mom, my sister, Oprah, etc. Books like The Girl on the Train or Lady With a Fork in Her Hand. (Okay, I made that last title up.) Now that I’ve read this book, I’m glad its cover is deceiving; I want the people who would not typically read a book about this topic to read this book.

My friend recommended this book to me and I dove right in, reading nothing about it beforehand. I suggest you do the same (so I guess you should stop reading this review now). I really liked this book. I cared about the characters, the topic was timely and important, and it’s clear that this book was written with care, skill, and love.

But why didn’t I give it five stars? Because although it was written with care and love, sometimes it was all too much. Too much description, too much drippy love, laid on thick. Despite this family’s endearing “flaws”, they were actually pretty perfect. I could have used a little more fallibility in the relationships. A little less of a “This is Us” vibe in there.

But all things considered, this is a lovely story that is beautifully written with a simple yet powerful message. It’s ultimately a book about love, acceptance, and family. And the world certainly needs more of that.

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