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.
Lombardo's impressive debut is a gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory. She juggles a huge cast of characters with seeming effortlessness, bringing each to life with humour, vividness and acute psychological insight.
You'll be glad this loopy family isn't yours, but reading about them is a treat.
A spry, sly and funny read
A funny, complex, tragic and immersive family sage which spans forty years. This is the perfect, engrossing holiday read
I adored The Most Fun We Ever Had. It is such a shockingly tender and uncannily knowing novel about the reality of long term love and affection, and the sweetness and claustrophobia of relationships between sisters. Lombardo's writing is so elegant - she makes our most complex and fragmented feelings tangible, which is a very rare skill. This book will stay with me forever.
A wonderfully immersive read that packs more heart and heft than most first novels...A deliciously absorbing novel with-brace yourself-a tender and satisfyingly positive take on family.
A rich, engrossing family saga, spiked with sisterly malice...[rendered] with such skill and finely tuned interest that it feels like a quiet subversion of the traditional family saga.
Lombardo has a wry, often spiky humour and tightly written style that should appeal to fans of Maria Semple, Emma Straub and Jennifer Egan ... A moving, immersive, often very funny study of family and sisterhood.
If ever there were to be a literary love child of Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler, then Claire Lombardo's outstanding debut, which ranges from ebullience to despair by way of caustic but intense familial bonds, would be a worthy offspring...This is a novel epic in scope-emotionally, psychologically and narratively. Combining a broad thematic canvas with impressive emotional nuance, it's an assured and highly enjoyable debut.
I cancelled appointments to keep reading this totally gripping portrait of a marriage and the four daughters that it has produced. It is excellent on sisterhood, motherhood, marriage - in fact on all human relationships. Highly, highly recommended.
A sharp, sly family story of feminine guile and guilt...A fun and brimming tale...Divine
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!
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.
An expansive U.S. family saga, expertly rendered
A novel to make a note to pack for summer travels ahead
Ambitious and brilliantly written
An exploration of the complex tapestry that is family life, full of delights and difficulties
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.
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.
The big family saga of the summer