This is my book review of “This Is How It Always Is” by Laurie Frankel. It is a book I simply could not put down. It’s that good!
Claude was different from the very beginning. He was talking in full sentences before he was one. He crawled at six months. Walked at nine. When he grew up, he said, he wanted to be a girl.
One night, his mother woke up in the middle of the night to see a young Claude standing next to her bed in the middle of the night. “When I’m a girl scientist,” he said, “can I wear a dress to work?”
His mother, a doctor and his father, a writer, were very careful not to appear alarmed by the things Claude said. They understood how important it was to support their fifth son.
But they always thought that he would get over this fascination with becoming a girl. That it was a phase.
It was not a phase.
But one rash decision caused them to keep Claude’s gender a secret. And as you know, secrets don’t often remain a secret. And then there are often tragic consequences.
This is a beautiful book. Beautifully written and crafted. You will laugh and you will cry. You will hopefully understand that not everyone is clear on who they are, that the lines between gender are not always sharply delineated.
“Corralling and forcing them against their will to go where you first imagined they would isn’t going to work for anyone involved.” (Author’s Note)
Also in this author’s note about her own transgendered daughter: “For my child, for all our children, I want more options, more paths through the woods, wider ranges of normal, and unconditional love.”
About The Author:
Other great reading about Laurie Frankel: An article by People last year about Laurie Frankel’s transgender child.
Also, about Laurie Frankel: We Adopted By Choice, Not Necessity