Author: Claire Lombardo
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Published: June 25, 2019
Book Description: 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.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: At over 500 pages The Most Fun We Ever Had is an epic multi-generational novel about the Sorenson Family. This spans from the 1970’s to present day. Marilyn and David Sorenson appear to have the perfect marriage. They always show so much love for each other. Over the years they have 4 daughters, the last being separated by 9 years from their third youngest.
This story goes through each of these people’s lives meticulously. Lombardo does a great job at giving each character their own voice. Even when they were at the worst, I felt so connected to this family, I was pulling for each one of them.
This took me 5 days to read this, which is a long time for me. I found myself savoring each line, paragraph, chapter of Lombardo’s debut novel. I did not want this book to end. Though this book is quite long, I think she wrote an extremely enjoyable book.