book cover of The Most Fun We Ever Had
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The Most Fun We Ever Had

(2019)
A novel by

 
 
An Instant New York Times Best Seller

"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 15 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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"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

"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

"A gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory." - Madeline Miller

"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

"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

"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


Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Claire Lombardo's The Most Fun We Ever Had

Hardback Editions

June 2019 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
ISBN: 1-4746-1186-9 / 978-1-4746-1186-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon UK   


June 2019 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had: A Novel
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
ISBN: 0-385-54425-1 / 978-0-385-54425-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

June 2019 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
ISBN: 1-4746-1187-7 / 978-1-4746-1187-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


June 2019 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had: A Novel
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
ISBN: 0-593-10276-2 / 978-0-593-10276-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


June 2019 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had: A Novel
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
ISBN: 0-385-54541-X / 978-0-385-54541-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House LCC US
Availability: Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

July 2020 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon   


July 2020 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon AU   


July 2020 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon UK   


June 2019 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had: A Novel
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


June 2019 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had: A Novel
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

June 2019 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


June 2019 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Most Fun We Ever Had: A Novel
Author(s): Claire Lombardo
Publisher: Doubleday
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA