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The Way Things Should Be - Bridie Jabour

Paperback

Published: 1st May 2018
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A warm and genuine novel about the hopes, expectations, failings and disappointments of millennials.

Claudia is getting married in a week. Well, she's 85% sure she is getting married in a week. Maybe 75%...

First, she must return home to spend the week with her siblings Zoe, Phinn and Poppy who, despite their best intentions, are quick to return to long-established battle lines. The arrival of her best friend Nora, desperately trying to keep her own demons quiet, does nothing to soothe the possessive sisters.

Meanwhile, their parents George and Rachel, long estranged from each other, are struggling with how different their children turned out to what they'd imagined. Taller, maybe?

The Way Things Should Be is a warm, funny and genuine novel about the conflicting joys and disappointments of millennials. It explores the complex relationships between parents and adult children, what we expect and what actually receive, and the complicated terrain that is the relationships with our siblings, best friends, and ourselves.

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an outstanding debut novel

5

4.5 ★s "This was the tribe for which she knew all the codes, the secret signals, the language. That you cannot chose your family is such a pathetically obvious statement, but it is often forgotten what else you can't choose. You can't choose to fully and wholly extract yourself - you can sometimes, if you're lucky, choose to learn the language and signals of another group, but you'll never be properly fluent. Not only does the language have to be learned from birth, but you have to help create it as well." The Way Things Should Be is the first novel by Australian journalist and author, Bridie Jabour. Claudia Carter has returned to the family home in Winton for her wedding, a wedding about which she's having doubts. It's a marriage she's sort of fallen into: the next logical step in her relationship, and the wedding has morphed into something that her mother, Rachel believes it should be. But first, a week with her siblings, to catch up. Although, given their history, perhaps not the wisest course of action. "Every member of the family secretly thought that – apart from themselves – nobody should change." Fairly quickly, her brother, Phinn escapes because it gives him "time to think on things without the irritating volley of perceived offences constantly arcing between his sisters, his mum and his aunt back at the house." (It's likely every family has a witch like Claudia's unmarried Aunt Mary, who delights in any discord between the siblings.) "Nora would arrive in just a few days. Claudia worried that this would be the spark to quickly engulf the bone-dry kindling of the family dynamics. Everything a woman feels for her sister – protectiveness, envy, passion, competition - is magnified twenty-fold when her best friend is around." Nora is grieving for her just-ended relationship, really needing a shoulder to cry on, and instead has to offer one to her best friend, whose emotional problems seem both manufactured and ungracious. Not to mention having to endure th

Thirroul

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A millennial must read for anyone with siblings

5

This is a delightful read from a first time novelist. The characters are richly drawn, complicated, and frequently - hilariously - unlikable, but I still had soft spots for them. It's peppered with millennial pop-culture references, but they make total sense in this context. Jabour is a master at writing dialogue, especially between the Carter children. The contradictions and complexities of sibling relationships is captured beautifully. So too is the self-consciousness and worry of a young woman who is getting married, but isn't really sure why. Does she even believe in marriage? Does it mean she's not actually a feminist? Is this what being an adult means? This is a great read and highly recommended.

Australia

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The Way Things Should Be

5.0 2

100.0

ISBN: 9781760681807
ISBN-10: 1760681806
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st May 2018
Publisher: Bonnier Echo
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4