The Most Fun We Ever Had
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, 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.
Beneath 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 single tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt - given up in a close adoption by one of the daughters fifteen years before - we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons' past: years marred by troubled 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, Claire 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.