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The Most Fun We Ever Had

Claire Lombardo

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Little Brown
14 July 2020
LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2020 THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'A literary love child of Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler ... outstanding and highly enjoyable' Observer 'The Most Fun We Ever Had is as good as books come' Telegraph 'I loved this book' Bryony Gordon 'The perfect, engrossing holiday read' RED 'A gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory' Madeline Miller 'A moving, immersive, often very funny study of family and sisterhood' Sunday Times 'Like Meg Wolitzer. A forensic dissection of family past and present, I loved it. If you like reading about relationships, this one is for you.' Pandora Sykes MEET THE SORENSON FAMILY.

MARILYN has somehow fallen into motherhood and spent four decades married to DAVID, who's pretty certain he loves her more than anyone has ever loved another person.

WENDY, their eldest, a cause for concern, soothes herself with drink after being widowed young, while VIOLET, lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mother, is disturbed by the reappearance of a son placed for adoption fifteen years earlier.

LIZA, a professor, is pregnant with a baby she's not sure she wants by a man she's not sure she loves and GRACE, their dawdling youngest daughter, lives a lie that no one in her family suspects.
By:   Claire Lombardo
Imprint:   Little Brown
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 36mm
Weight:   375g
ISBN:   9781474611886
ISBN 10:   1474611885
Pages:   544
Publication Date:   14 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Claire Lombardo is a 2017 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has been the recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship and a Sun Valley Writers' Conference Fellowship. She is currently an adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Iowa, and teaches fiction writing at the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. Her short fiction has appeared in, among others, Barrelhouse Magazine, Little Fiction, and Longform. Born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, she now lives in Iowa City.

Reviews for The Most Fun We Ever Had

I love this book, and the Sorensons, so much * Bryony Gordon * An exploration of the complex tapestry that is family life, full of delights and difficulties * Cosmopolitan * A funny, complex, tragic and immersive family sage which spans forty years. This is the perfect, engrossing holiday read * Red * A spry, sly and funny read * Sunday Express * Lombardo has a wry, often spiky humour and tightly written style that should appeal to fans of Maria Semple, Emma Straub and Jennifer Egan ... A moving, immersive, often very funny study of family and sisterhood. * Sunday Times * An expansive U.S. family saga, expertly rendered * Daily Mail * A sharp, sly family story of feminine guile and guilt...A fun and brimming tale...Divine * Kirkus * You'll be glad this loopy family isn't yours, but reading about them is a treat. * People magazine * The big family saga of the summer * EW * A wonderfully immersive read that packs more heart and heft than most first novels...A deliciously absorbing novel with-brace yourself-a tender and satisfyingly positive take on family. * NPR * Ambitious and brilliantly written -- Jane Smiley * The Washington Post * A rich, engrossing family saga, spiked with sisterly malice...[rendered] with such skill and finely tuned interest that it feels like a quiet subversion of the traditional family saga. * The New York Times Book Review * A novel to make a note to pack for summer travels ahead -- Laura Bailey * VOGUE * This amazing, sexy, moving, transfixing novel sweeps you up into the epic range of human emotion, from tenderness to exasperation, bafflement to pride, anger to unconditional love that is intrinsic to family life. And how those oh-so-familiar hairpin bends of parenthood and of marriage are so beautifully juxtaposed with the infinite complexities and blind corners of being a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover! I couldn't quite think of what to do with myself when I came to the last page except read it all over again. -- Juliet Nicolson, author of A HOUSE FULL OF DAUGHTERS In The Most Fun We Ever Had Claire Lombardo has given us a truly unforgettable American family. The book bristles on every page with intelligence and fierce wit. What a debut! -- Richard Russo, Author of EVERYBODY'S FOOL I cancelled appointments to keep reading this totally gripping portrait of a marriage and the four daughters that it has produced. It is excellent on sisterhood, motherhood, marriage - in fact on all human relationships. Highly, highly recommended. -- Clover Stroud, author of THE WILD OTHER Claire Lombardo has created a wonderful, subtle and sophisticated portrait of a family. The nuances, the secrets, the triumphs and tragedies light up this narrative with the many ways we love and the unremitting clarity with which we are known by our siblings. Epic and intimate, funny and delicate, this is a best friend of a book: curl up with it and lose yourself in the easy intimacy of the magnetic, loveable and flawed family of Sorensons. -- Raffaella Barker, author of SPRINGTIME Remarkably alive and wise, Claire Lombardo's story of the Sorensons is a stunning vision - not just of family or love, but the funny, tender mystery of human connection itself, with all its intensity, charm, and wonder. -- Affinity Konar, author of MISCHLING I adored The Most Fun We Ever Had. It is such a shockingly tender and uncannily knowing novel about the reality of long term love and affection, and the sweetness and claustrophobia of relationships between sisters. Lombardo's writing is so elegant - she makes our most complex and fragmented feelings tangible, which is a very rare skill. This book will stay with me forever. -- Daisy Buchanan, author of HOW TO BE A GROWN UP Beware this book, that will enmesh you in the psychic DNA of this utterly convincingly imagined family. You will encounter characters whose stories you're compelled to follow, you will recognise the bitterest and sweetest tastes of life, you will laugh, and you will want to discuss it with other people. (Possibly not your own family). John Irving has a literary daughter, and her name is Claire Lombardo. -- Laline Paull, author of THE BEES If ever there were to be a literary love child of Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler, then Claire Lombardo's outstanding debut, which ranges from ebullience to despair by way of caustic but intense familial bonds, would be a worthy offspring...This is a novel epic in scope-emotionally, psychologically and narratively. Combining a broad thematic canvas with impressive emotional nuance, it's an assured and highly enjoyable debut. -- Hannah Beckerman * GUARDIAN * Lombardo's impressive debut is a gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory. She juggles a huge cast of characters with seeming effortlessness, bringing each to life with humour, vividness and acute psychological insight. -- Madeline Miller, author of CIRCE


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