'A literary love child of Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler ... outstanding and highly enjoyable' Observer

'The Most Fun We Ever Had is as good as books come' Telegraph

'I loved this book' Bryony Gordon

'The perfect, engrossing holiday read' RED

'A gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory' Madeline Miller

'A moving, immersive, often very funny study of family and sisterhood' Sunday Times

'Like Meg Wolitzer. A forensic dissection of family past and present, I loved it. If you like reading about relationships, this one is for you.' Pandora Sykes


MARILYN has somehow fallen into motherhood and spent four decades married to

DAVID, who's pretty certain he loves her more than anyone has ever loved another person.

WENDY, their eldest, a cause for concern, soothes herself with drink after being widowed young,

while VIOLET, lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mother, is disturbed by the reappearance of a son placed for adoption fifteen years earlier.

LIZA, a professor, is pregnant with a baby she's not sure she wants by a man she's not sure she loves

and GRACE, their dawdling youngest daughter, lives a lie that no one in her family suspects.



ISBN: 9781474611886
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 544
Publication Date: 9 Jul 2020
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 19.6(H) x 12.8(L) x 3.6(W)
Weight (gm): 375



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.


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. - The New York Times Book Review

The big family saga of the summer - EW

A sharp, sly family story of feminine guile and guilt...A fun and brimming tale...Divine - Kirkus

An expansive U.S. family saga, expertly rendered - Daily Mail

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. - Sunday Times

A spry, sly and funny read - Sunday Express

A funny, complex, tragic and immersive family sage which spans forty years. This is the perfect, engrossing holiday read - Red


Author Biography

Claire Lombardo is a 2017 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has been the recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship and a Sun Valley Writers' Conference Fellowship. She is currently an adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Iowa, and teaches fiction writing at the Iowa Young Writers' Studio. Her short fiction has appeared in, among others, Barrelhouse Magazine, Little Fiction, and Longform. Born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, she now lives in Iowa City.
The Most Fun We Ever Had: Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

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