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Book Rating (18)

Narrator Rating (7)

This Is How It Always Is: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Laurie Frankel

Narrated By: Gabra Zackman

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Date: January 2017

Duration: 11 hours 1 minutes


It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think. Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies

This is how a family keeps a secret and how that secret ends up keeping them.

This is how a family lives happily ever after until happily ever after becomes complicated.

This is how children change and then change the world.

When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it's another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect.

But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn aren't panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes.

Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is an audiobook about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it's about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again; parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts; children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don't get to keep them forever.


  • Glenda G

    This is a five star story read by a five star narrator.Worth it, on every level.

  • Mladen M

    Beautiful book, so full of thought and emotion. I felt the same as one of the other people reviewing the book - one of the most amazing the narrators I've ever heard, it feels like she speaks straight to your soul, rather than read out words.

  • Rosanna M

    Witty and moving. Such a great read, well, listen! The narrator has the most beautiful voice. She speaks straight to your heart.

  • Evelyn Pickard

    This was gut wrenching to read as a mother. Beautifully written, I listen in the car and was always disappointed to arrive at my destination!