The Highland Park Library presents an evening with novelist Claire Lombardo as she discusses her acclaimed debut, The Most Fun We Ever Had. Ms. Lombardo will be happy to autograph books, which will be for sale on site.
About the book: 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 fifteen 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.
A family epic...It resembles other sprawling midwestern family dramas, like Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections (2001)...The result is an affectionate, sharp, and eminently readable exploration of the challenges of love in its many forms." -- Booklist
"A sprawling drama that explores the maelstrom of love, resentment and tension of the nuclear family, and the ways in which a shared history can affect the future for years...Covering 40 years of Sorenson family strengths and foibles, The Most Fun We Ever Had is a classy but juicy read that always has one more surprise up its sleeve." --Shelf Awareness
"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
About the author: Claire Lombardo earned her MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. A former social worker, she now teaches fiction writing and is at work on a second novel.
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction