This Is How It Always Is

If you haven’t read This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel then I highly suggest you run to the nearest library or bookstore. This story is about a family and their struggles with feeling unaccepted because they are different. Rosie and Penn meet, fall in love, and build a family together. They have 5 boys (they kept trying for a girl) and their youngest son Claude likes to wear dresses and wants to be a girl. They struggle with how to deal with everyone’s opinions and reactions to their family. They are open, loving, and completely supportive of whatever makes Claude happy. The real struggles stem from how everyone else will treat Claude. Within their story there is a deeper story that could help foster conversations about this topic and hopefully lead to some greater understanding in the community.

 

This book is doing great things. You truly feel the love this family has for one another. It really makes you question why we have to make it so much harder for the people around us. Why is it so hard to accept everyone for who they are even if it’s outside the boundaries of what you consider normal? Why does that threaten someone else? The beauty in the world comes from our differences. I went through so much heartache right alongside this family. It makes you realize we all have differences and struggles and we need to be more compassionate and more understanding. I sincerely hope you check this out. This book grew a little bit out of Frankel’s family being able to relate to her characters. It’s not based on her family’s story specifically, but she certainly drew a lot of inspiration from elements they can relate to.

Still Life Review

Still Life-5331

Still Life by Louise Penny takes place in a charming, little town in the middle of nowhere called Three Pines. In this small town, everyone knows everyone and no one feels compelled to lock their doors. That is until one of the residents is found dead under suspicious circumstances. We follow along as Detective Gamache unravels the mystery and reveals various secrets throughout this idyllic community. Everyone has secrets and through this investigation we get to know the townspeople.

This was the perfect, cozy mystery to transition into fall reading.  Detective Gamache is likable and doesn’t come off as overly arrogant. His tactics allowed for the citizens of Three Pines to feel like they were apart of his investigations and allowed for them to be a bit more forthcoming with information. Penny’s writing creates some great imagery. How can you not enjoy her writing with lines like, “Gamache enjoyed watching Beauvoir indulge his flamboyant side, and this was about as flamboyant as Beauvoir got. A dramatic pause.” I don’t know, but something about that dramatic pause really had me visualizing their conversation. It added depth to that character. Her verbiage had me laughing at times. It was extremely descriptive. One of my other favorite lines being, “She consulted the yellowing rolodex in her head.” I love the way she describes this characters age to her readers without outright mentioning her age. I adored her writing style.

Is it just me or does anyone else bite hard on the red herrings? They get me every time. Hook, line, and sinker. I one hundred percent have myself convinced that I know what the ending will be and I am always wrong. Flat-out wrong. Oh well, even though I was wrong I love the surprise I get when the big reveal takes place.  If you enjoy this genre you will adore this book. It was a delightful read and I can’t wait to continue the series.