The Most Fun We Ever Had – Claire Lombardo

5 stars

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Ohhh my. Ok – I’m going to attempt to express my thoughts and opinions on The Most Fun We Ever Had as precise and cohesive as I can. Let me start off by saying, there was a lot happening in this book BUT I loved it and I think you will too!

*warning: this is a lengthy post because I have a lot to say to you!*

The Sorensons are a motley crew, let me tell ya! But I fell in love with them, flaws and all. Based in the Chicago suburbs (part of the reason why I loved it – I live in Chicago and really enjoyed the city references!), David, the sole man of the household and dad to four girls, is a retired doctor with the most tender heart and loving personality. Marilyn, alpha mom, is a small woman but that is not to be mistaken with her strength. David and Marilyn love their daughters with a fierceness that is unmatched, but their love for one another is an out-of-this-world intense and ravenous love!

Wendy, the eldest of the four sisters, is a young widow with a sarcastic, witty and sharp outlook on life. Damaged from her rocky past, Wendy despises perfection. Violet, the “Irish twin” to Wendy, is a stay at home mom to two young boys and a successful husband, beautiful home and expensive cars; her life radiates perfection with the exception of a past secret that comes back to haunt her. Liza, the “middle child”, was the easy kid; the one neither David nor Marilyn had to worry about. Pregnant and bored with her life, Liza finds she wants more: more stability, more love. Finally Gracie, the much younger of the Sorenson girls, is the “Epilogue” of their family as David refers; she is there and necessary, but her placement puts her at the end.

The Most Fun We Ever Had spans decades as we travel alongside life’s most glorious and distasteful moments with the Sorensons. Alternating between the present and past, the stories and lives of every character is woven together in one huge, and at times, messy web.

The character development in this book was f.l.a.w.l.e.s.s. and even though it was a very complex read with a lot going on, it kept my attention the entire time. Coming in at 500+ pages, prepare to dedicate some time to allow this book to soak in and seep deep into your soul. Lombardo made us work for pieces of information. It wasn’t, “This happened 5 years ago and is the reason Wendy is the way she is. The end”. Instead, she wove decades worth of details and stories and histories into the book in such a simple and mindful way and it made this story read like butter.

I will say, this is the first book I’ve ever read that I simultaneously loved then hated then loved every single character. Maybe hate is a strong word, but they were all flawed and unlikable at times, but yet they were extremely lovable at the same time. Which made me realize: life is a lot like this in a sense – we go through ebbs and flows, we evolve and change, growing as individuals and partners. We’re all likable AND unlikable in conjunction with our imperfections and peaks.

This is becoming quite a lengthy review so I will end it with this: The Most Fun We Ever Had is all of us; it’s real life. This book made me miss my mom with an excruciating pain, love my dad even more than I already do, adore my sister who is my very best friend, and appreciate my brothers and the laughter they provide. I reveled in my own set of familial affairs and differences, like the Sorensons. Yet, I finished this book reflecting and smiling upon those differences because the truth of the matter is, we all have them – and we’re better people because of them! What more could you ask for in a book?!

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