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Same As It Ever Was by Claire Lombardo
Hardcover $30.00
Jun 18, 2024 | ISBN 9780385549554

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  • Jun 18, 2024 | ISBN 9780593865521

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“”One of those big, grown-up existential novels about parenthood and marriage and teenagers and friendship and family life. . . Like [Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler’s] best works, Lombardo’s finds the vast and epic and universal via specific attention to family life. But there is also something new to it, something that is both easy reading and profound at the same time, specifically on feelings of failure and abandonment, all of it cleverly brushed with wit and humor.”
Matt Haig, The Guardian

“If you’re looking for a summer read with substance that doesn’t skimp on entertainment value, this is the perfect pick for you. . . Masterfully constructed and thoughtfully observed, this clinches Claire Lombardo’s status as one of the best domestic drama writers on the scene.” 

“You need to read this….Claire Lombardo is the new Anne Tyler, with teeth.”
–Ericka Waller, author of Dog Days

“Infidelity, dysfunction, secrets – this family novel delivers. . . Poignant, punctilious. . . [Lombardo] refashions domestic drama into something rich and strange, with echoes of Lorrie Moore’s sardonic humor and Jonathan Franzen’s dissection of class. . . In less skillful hands, Same as It Ever Was would lose control over its transitions and veer toward soap opera; yet like Franzen’s Marion Hildebrandt, or Faye, the narrator of Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy, Lombardo gives us a woman whose inner life is knotted and revelatory. . . Same as It Ever Was is a brave, nuanced book, lulling us with its rhythms but taking risks when we glance away.”
–Hamilton Cain, The New York Times

“Lombardo’s witty, sympathetic take on motherhood exudes the sharp scent of fermented apple juice and a full diaper… Lombardo has such a fine eye for the weft and warp of a family’s fabric. She understands the chemistry of that special epoxy of irritation and affection that keeps a marriage glued together. One finishes Same As It Ever Was with the satisfaction of knowing this complicated woman well — and the poignant disappointment of having to say goodbye.”
Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“This is one of those beautifully written, keenly observed novels where not that much happens — other than, you know, life itself — but also so much happens. . . Claire Lombardo has written a whole cast of characters so detailed, so specifically themselves, that you almost feel you could reach out and touch them.”
Samantha Balaban, NPR

“A capacious, tender family drama and ode to marriage. . . Lombardo is a writer who lavishes attention to her characters. . . Same As It Ever Was is a fine-grained portrait of a woman determined to learn how to be a mother, wife, daughter – and person. It builds to a moving climax, encompassing along the way unexpected weddings, funerals, reconciliations, and losses. Like life itself.”
–Christian Science Monitor

“Lombardo continues her astute and entertaining observations about messy family dynamics and the imprint they leave on us. . . with wit and a keen eye for the complications of modern life.”
–The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“An engrossing story of maternal complexity and a reminder of the myriad ways the past can quietly inform the present.”


“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)

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.”

“Sparkling. . . Readers will be torn between their instinct to race to the finish and their desire to savor every page.”
Publisher’s Weekly Summer Reads

“Witty and insightful…a powerful exploration of marriage, motherhood, and self.”
–Bonnie Garmus, bestselling author of Lessons in Chemistry

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