Reading Between the Wines

Paul Gayer

The purpose of a book club is to read a book that sparks stimulating discussion. The discussion could evolve around the characters and their decisions; other times, the historical events that led to the conflict. Sometimes the book is liked by everyone, which makes the discussion interesting as members share personal stories from their lives that relate to the book. But when the topic of the book is more unconventional and has many facets to it, the discussion can take a whole different route.

That was the case for the book, This Is How It Always Is, by Laurie Frankel. It’s a story of a family with five children who is experiencing a gender identity crisis with one of the children. Is it nature or nurture? Is each family member making decisions for the good of the family or for the good of the one child? Can the parents stay focused on careers, family and life in general as they struggle to make the best decisions possible for all of their children to ensure that they are safe, healthy and happy?

The book doesn’t tell you how to think; the author allows her readers to open their minds and follow along. At the end of the book, you just may be asking yourself, “Is that what I would have done?”