Sometimes books can have such simple designs that they become beyond beautiful in their clarity. This Is How It Always Is, the latest novel from Laurie Frankel, is one such example. With the simple colour scheme and stark illustrations, the subtle magic of the design comes rising to the surface, the twinkling stars and strange fairy wings moving into the forefront. The cover was immediately appealing to my eyes, making me wish that such quiet beauty could be replicated within. I was not disappointed!
This Is How It Always Is tells the story of one family – Rosie, Penn, and their five boys. Their lives are intense, with mum working hectic hours at the hospital and dad determined to finish his book, all the while trying to do the best they can for their boys amidst the drama and chaos of family life. Their youngest boy, Claude, is given the same love that each of his brothers received; the message loud and clear that he can be whatever he wants to be in life. ‘A chef. A vet. A dinosaur. A farmer. A scientist. A girl’. When Claude discovers he wants nothing more than to wear a dress and call himself Poppy, the family support him every step of the way. They adapt quickly to the new struggles they face as parents, trying the best to forge their way into the unknown. But life is never so clear cut, as the entire family will discover.