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The Most Fun We Ever Had

A Novel

By Claire Lombardo
Narrated by Emily Rankin / 20 hours 33 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

The Most Fun We Ever Had

“Claire Lombardo has written a rich and rewarding novel brimming with the messiness of families. Secrets kept and revealed provide a backdrop for the life-long love affair of Marilyn and David Sorenson as they raise their four daughters. The years are filled with joy, angst, anger, longing, and love as the members of the Sorenson family struggle to define their place among the ones who are nearest and dearest to their hearts. The Most Fun We Ever Had will resonate with all readers who have experienced and celebrated the chaotic love of family.”

The Bookworm image Betsy Von Kerens, The Bookworm

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"Ambitious and brilliantly written."--Jane Smiley, The Washington Post

"Outstanding...[the] literary love child of Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler."--The Guardian

"Everything about this brilliant debut cuts deep: the humor, the wisdom, the pathos. Claire Lombardo writes like she's been doing it for a hundred years, and like she's been alive for a thousand."--Rebecca Makkai, author of The Great Believers


When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that's to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she's not sure she wants by a man she's not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents'.

As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt--given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before--we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons' past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.

Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo's debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. In painting this luminous portrait of a family's becoming, Lombardo joins the ranks of writers such as Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, and Jonathan Franzen as visionary chroniclers of our modern lives.

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