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This Is How It Always Is: A Novel Audiobook, by Laurie Frankel Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Laurie Frankel Narrator: Gabra Zackman Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781427282538
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*Named one of the top 10 books of 2017 by People Magazine*

“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.

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.

When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is a novel 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.

"The audiobook will undoubtedly steal hearts" - AudioFile

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gabra Zackman narrates this complex family saga with a subdued tone that works with the seriousness of its theme of self-identity…Zackman’s portrayal of Claude is glorious in its depiction of his precociousness, confusion, growth, and compassion…The audiobook will undoubtedly steal hearts.”


  • “In the lead for the most sensitively and sincerely told story of 2017…Frankel’s portrayal of even the most openhearted parents’ doubts and fears around a child’s gender identity elevates this novel.”


  • “It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think.”

    Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Frankel…[has] created a family attempting to forge a path through one of life’s most mystifying challenges: how to define what it is that makes your child who he or she is: unique, beloved, and whole. This is a novel everyone should read.”

    Elizabeth George, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “One of those very rare, special novels that examines the way we live―in our homes, in our families, in our bodies―with an astonishing balance of humor, complexity, and above all, kindness.”

    Ruth Ozeki, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A lively and fascinating story of a thoroughly modern family and the giant, multifaceted love that binds them.”

    Maria Semple, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Well-plotted, well-researched, and unflaggingly interesting…As thought-provoking a domestic novel as we have seen this year.”

    Kirkus Review (starred review)

  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for January 2017
  • A People Pick of the Week
  • A BookPage Top Pick for February 2017
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  • Among longlisted titles for Best Books of the Year, 2017

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About the Author

Laurie Frankel is the author of the novels This Is How It Always Is, The Atlas of Love, Goodbye for Now, and This Is How It Always Is.

About the Narrator

Gabra Zackman is an actress, author, and narrator who has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. She was educated at Northwestern University. A classically trained actress, she has appeared in theaters all over the country as well as on film and television.