Wednesday, April 12, 2017

GLBTQ Annotation

Author: Frankel, Laurie

Title:  This Is How It Always Is

Genre: GLBTQ

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Number of Pages: 323

Geographical Setting: Madison, Wisconsin and Seattle, Washington

Time Period: Contemporary

Plot Summary: Imagine: you have a family of 5 spirited boys and a dog. Your loving husband writes for a living and your job as an ER doctor is challenging and rewarding. You live in a sprawling farmhouse in Madison, Wisconsin. For your youngest son's third birthday, you give him a puppet theater and a trunk of Goodwill dress-up clothes because he loves to make up and put on plays. He tells you he wants to be a girl when he grows up. You're not worried, wearing the green, sparkly dress is just a phase. Until, he decides to wear a dress to the first day of kindergarten, no matter the consequences. With the unconditional love of parents and siblings, easy-going classmates, and a supportive teacher, the school year is survived, with Claude continuing to wear dresses. 

Looking for a more open and supportive community, the family moves to Seattle. Here, people meet Claude as Poppy and never question her gender. Life seems to be sailing along beautifully, but the cost of keeping this secret is a heavy burden, affecting each member of the family differently. The novel explores many aspects of this timely scenario, with compassion, sensitivity, and love. Frankel herself is the mother of a girl who was born a boy. This is a story not to be missed.

Subject Headings: Domestic fiction.
                                 Fiction / Family Life.
                                 Fiction / Literary.

3 Terms That Best Describe This Book: Character - Authentic
                                                                    Tone - Thought-provoking
                                                                    Writing Style - Compelling

Similar Authors and Works (Why are they similar?): These compelling, thought-provoking stories are all about people who are keeping secrets and how those secrets affect their lives.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Book Jacket

Raising my rainbow: adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son  by Lori Duron

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

The Gender Creative Child

The Gender Creative Child by Diane Ehrensaft

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta


  1. Hello,

    Your summary is well done. What intrigues me about this story is your statement "affecting each member of the family differently." This opens up the story into multiple viewpoints that adds different layers to the story.

  2. Hi Suzanne! Thank you for such a wonderful synopsis. I love how you point out that the family is in this together. This is definitely a book I would like to read. Also, I like that you included quite a few other recommended books!

  3. Suzanne, this is another wonderful annotation. I am so pulled into this story, I can't wait to read it. To hear that it isn't just about the parents but the entire family adds to the depth of understanding.

  4. This book sounds incredible and it is going on my to-read list, I can't believe I've never heard of it before! Your annotation was great and I really enjoyed your read alike fiction books, those are all on my to-read list as well and they seem like great choices for this book!

  5. Fantastic annotation! Your summary and readalikes are on point. Full points!