The secret life of Claude

This Is How It Always Is
By Laurie Frankel
Flatiron Books
Hard cover, 323 pages
flatironbooks.com

This is a very compelling story about a little boy who wants to be a girl and how this affects not only the immediate family but the community at large.
What’s so interesting about this novel is that author Laurie Frankel is actually a mother to a little boy who is now a girl. And while the book is fictional, Frankel had a lot to draw from when crafting this moving story.
From very early on, five-year-old Claude dreams of wearing a dress and becoming a princess. Parents Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever he wants to be. They just don’t want Claude, their youngest of five boys, to be hurt in a world that might not be as accepting. After a move from Wisconsin to Washington and a fresh start, the secret life of Poppy emerges. In this new city, we see how this new life unfolds and how each family member is affected in their different ways by striving to keep private the true identity of Claude. And as we know, secrets are very hard to keep.

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