Publication Date: 18/07/2024 ISBN: 9781399608213 Category:

Same As It Ever Was

Claire Lombardo

Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publication Date: 18/07/2024 ISBN: 9781399608213 Category:


This book is scheduled to be published on 18/07/2024.
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‘Witty and insightful. A powerful exploration of marriage, motherhood, and self’

”It was such a pleasure to bury myself in this book, a literary novel of family life which moved and surprised me. You read on ravenously’

The author of THE MOST FUN WE EVER HAD returns with a brilliantly observed family drama, in which a long marriage faces imminent derailment from events both past and present

At fifty-seven, Julia Ames has found herself with an improbably lovely life. Despite her inclination towards self-sabotage, she has a husband she loves, two happy children and a quiet, contented existence in the suburbs.

But, out of the blue, things begin to change.

Her always well-behaved son, Ben, is acting strangely, and will soon make a shocking announcement.

Her beloved but belligerent teenage daughter is about to depart for college, leaving Julia unexpectedly terrified of an empty nest.

And, in the local grocery store, Julia encounters a woman she hasn’t seen for 20 years – a woman whose friendship was once both her lifeline and, very nearly, her downfall.

Consumed with her checkered past and the chaos of her present, Julia starts to spin out of control, at risk of destroying all she most loves.

Following Julia over the course of a few tumultuous months, bookended by a birthday party and a wedding, and examining the fifty-plus years before, Same as It Ever Was examines the complete and complicated trajectory of one woman’s life and asks what it takes to make – and to not break – a family.


‘A literary love child of Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler’ GUARDIAN

‘Lombardo juggles a huge cast of characters with seeming effortlessness, bringing each to life with humour, vividness and acute psychological insight’ MADELINE MILLER, author of SONG OF ACHILLES

‘Lombardo has a wry, often spiky humour and tightly written style that should appeal to fans of Maria Semple, Emma Straub and Jennifer Egan’ SUNDAY TIMES

Publisher Review

Witty and insightful. A powerful exploration of marriage, motherhood, and self — Bonnie Garmus, author of LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY It was such a pleasure to bury myself in this book, a literary novel of family life which moved and surprised me. Claire Lombardo creates such interesting characters and predicaments and manipulates the revelations and emotional bombshells so expertly that you read on ravenously — Clare Chambers, author of SMALL PLEASURES This is such a wonderful book: unsentimental yet full of feeling, with such sharply-written, loving and generous characterisation. It has everything I adore in a novel. I finished it in floods of tears, and had to sit for a minute or two to pull myself together. It absolutely floored me. What a joy to let a writer of such talent suffuse us with a life’s worth of humour and pain, affection and mess! — Jessie Burton, author of THE MINIATURIST A big American novel to get totally lost in. Rich and compelling and funny and true — Claire Powell, author of AT THE TABLE Pitch-perfect. . . Lombardo is compulsively readable and consistently funny, and it’s impossible to look away as Julia continues to self-sabotage. This domestic drama hits all the right notes * Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review) * A family saga to save as a treat and devour when you should be doing something else, in which events past and present upset a long marriage * Independent * Lombardo loves her characters, taking time to peel back each of their layers through the time-lapse structure of the novel and her rich descriptions. . . A sure bet for fans of Richard Russo and Jane Smiley * Booklist * Sparkling. . . Readers will be torn between their instinct to race to the finish and their desire to savour every page * Publisher’s Weekly Summer Reads *

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