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The Most Fun We Ever Had

A Novel
Auteur(s): Claire Lombardo
Narrateur(s): Emily Rankin
Durée: 20 h et 33 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 évaluations)

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Description

An Instant New York Times Best Seller

"Ambitious and brilliantly written." (Jane Smiley, The Washington Post)

"Outstanding...[the] literary love child of Jonathan Franzen and Anne Tyler." (The Guardian)

"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)

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 15 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.

©2019 Claire Lombardo (P)2019 Random House Audio

Ce que les critiques en disent

Named a most anticipated book of the summer by O Magazine, People, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, Daily Beast, PopSugar, and LitHub 

"In The Most Fun We Ever Had, Claire Lombardo has given us a truly unforgettable American family. The book bristles on every page with intelligence and fierce wit. What a debut!" (Richard Russoauthor of That Old Cape Magic and Chances Are...)

“Lombardo's impressive debut is a gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory. She juggles a huge cast of characters with seeming effortlessness, bringing each to life with humor, vividness and acute psychological insight.” (Madeline Miller, New York Times best-selling author of Circe)

“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)

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
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    12
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Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    21
  • 4 étoiles
    6
  • 3 étoiles
    0
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  • 1 étoile
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Histoire

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 étoiles
    16
  • 4 étoiles
    11
  • 3 étoiles
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  • 2 étoiles
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Évaluations – Cliquez sur les onglets pour changer la source des évaluations.

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

I loved this story and the narration. I especially enjoyed all the characters. Definitely recommend !

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MCK
  • 2019-09-03

Loved this poignant tribute to motherhood!

I enjoyed every minute of this well crafted story about the Sorensen Family. I thought it dove into what it means to be a mother, daughter and sister with such subtlety and depth. The narrator gave each character a subtly distinct voice that was helpful and not distracting. She was lovely to listen to.

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kaysi12
  • 2019-07-08

Wonderful book

I recently saw that I have downloaded 700+ audiobooks over the years and this is one of my top ten favorites. It is a wonderful story. I’d love to see a sequel with Jonah as the central character, but I’ll read anything Claire Lombardo writes in the future and I hope she writes many more novels.

42 personnes sur 44 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • 2019-07-03

An enjoyable story of multiple generations

4.5 stars.

This is one of those books that is 550 pages long and which I would have loved to be even longer.
It was exactly the kind of book I love. Emotional. Tragic. Character-driven. Dramatic yet funny.
Witty, with pages filled with themes of love, family, grief, misunderstandings, redemption and hope.

I loved that Lombardo created a multi-generational family who had secrets, held resentments, were selfish and self-centered, and who loved each other immensely. It was so real. Most of us can list 1,000 complaints about our siblings and parents. We think the other person lives a more blessed life. We think they are loved more. We fail to see the story through their eyes. And yet we would do anything for them, because we love them. This book is exactly that. It is family. And I cared about them all. I worried when they hurt each other that they would do permanent damage. I cried for their grief and pain. They were in my heart and I was sad when I closed the cover.

Marilyn Connelly and David Sorensen met while in college in the mid-70s, and soon married. Forty years later they have raised 4 daughters, David is a retired family physician, Marilyn is a super-mom, and they are crazy in love with one another still. The novel covers is written with intimate glimpses of these 40 years, with portions of the story told in the current time (2016), and flashing back to many other stages of life. We get to know the couple and their girls -- Wendy, Violet, Liza, and Grace.

Violet and Wendy are a year apart--Irish twins, the sisters who were the closest and developed a love-hate relationship. Liza was considered the middle child, and Grace was born (on purpose, but everyone thought she was their Catholic accident) in 1993. The current year is 2016, but the novel moves back and forth in time, mounting little mysteries and hints and integrating interlocking narratives. Everyone has a storyline, independently and collectively. And that includes the loose cannon, Jonah, given up for adoption by Violet as an infant and, at age 15, has resurfaced, to Violet’s dismay.

Wendy is the oldest. She is sarcastic, irreverent and troubled. She has had a hard life, facing big losses. Unfortunately her losses have made her combative, and reliant upon alcohol. She keeps her family at arm's length, unwilling to lower her guard.

Violet was born less than a year after Wendy. She has control issues, and seeks perfection. Her husband and two young children are the perfect family. She has a big secret that will force her to open her heart and mind, and she becomes far more likable as we follow her story.

Liza, the third daughter is pregnant and a successful professor. But her boyfriend is severely depressed, and Liza isn't sure that she actually loves him or that she wants her baby.

And then there is the baby, Gracie. She is in Portland, where she is supposed to be attending law school. This is a lie and she is finding herself digging that hole bigger with every conversation.

The author beautifully shows the various elements of the story from viewpoints of several characters. We get to see how their memories and perceptions are colored through the tint of their selfish view of the world. We spy the missed opportunities and we find ourselves wishing that we could force a face to face discussion.

This book is like reading the story of your own family. It is warm and cozy in spite of the pain. It is full of love and laughter over shared memories, embarrassments and inside-jokes.

36 personnes sur 38 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • adrienne waikel
  • 2019-07-17

Wordy and long

I bought this because of the good reviews but found it very wordy and unnecessarily long. I’m not sure I can even finish it. So many long descriptions of chaos in the house which seems overdone. I have four kids too and it never seemed like the drudgery that the author goes on and on about. Interesting story of the family though and of the nuances of a marriage but not sure it’s worth the credit.

11 personnes sur 11 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Denise
  • 2019-07-28

Disappointing at Best

I selected this book because both the author’s bio and the story synopsis seemed promising. Also, because I’m a Chicagoan, I thought it would be great to finally delve into a book set in my beautiful city. Boy, was I wrong!

Perhaps the Chicago aspect of the story was its most redeeming quality. To me, the majority of the characters were narcissistic and unlikable, especially Violet and Grace. Marilyn, the “saintly” mom, was really a pathetic martyr and a motherhood loser based on the behaviors of her daughters. Liza, the professor, was a ridiculous doormat. Only Wendy, underneath her crunchy facade, had an empathetic, caring and generous heart.

I kept asking myself, if these girls had such wonderful and perfect parents then why did they boldface lie about their lives and keep their failures a secret from them? That didn’t make sense to me at all.

I’m not a prude but like another reviewer mentioned, the swearing was over the top, totally unnecessary. On several occasions the language actually made me wince. It really detracted from the story and made the family even more unlikable and unbelievable.

Don’t waste your money or your credit on this book.

18 personnes sur 19 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carolyn White
  • 2019-07-15

Good story

I liked this book a lot. I did find there to be a lot of sex scenes between the parents. Their love was the central facet of the story, so I get it, but still, it felt repetitive. Great characters and wonderful writing, though.

15 personnes sur 16 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-03

A Glass Half Full

The writing was simple enough, but the story had so much meat...So much more to grow on. The story highlighted the epiphany that we always get as adults that ‘everyone’s got mess’; lightly put. It was endearing, a sweet picture into a family that shows love at variations, but there was so much drama and room for elaboration on the characters that could have really made this a bit more juicy. There were situations that could have been a bit more climatic that just failed me with a very “fictional” response that most real families would have. Nonetheless, I could listen to the narrator again and maybe give the author another try in the future. Definitely more of a long flight listen when I don’t want to hold a book.

15 personnes sur 16 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Stilwell
  • 2019-07-19

Excellent

Sad when it was over. If you like stories that span decades and follow the lives of family members, you will love this. Each character is perfectly developed.

5 personnes sur 5 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • starshockeymom
  • 2019-07-13

Loved this book!

This was such a great story! I did not want it to end. Highly recommend.

4 personnes sur 4 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Karen Brow
  • 2019-07-29

Ug. Disappointing

This book has really good reviews and I so wanted to like it, but had to stop half-way through because of boredom and frustration. All the daughter characters were either truly unlikeable or just so darn dumb it was actually uncomfortable. One has such an appallingly vicious mouth I wanted to slap her on several occasions and one is so painfully naive and helpless I wanted to strangle her. (I do not usually feel this violent towards imaginary literary characters.) The other two are more run-of-the-mill hateful and clueless and I couldn't muster any compassion towards any of them.

While this is supposed to be a modern story, I'm sorry-- the sexual detail is... well... creepy. It's way too detailed to be erotic and was usually describing some utterly crass or cringingly and/or stupid situation. (Mom and dad having sex in the living room one evening with not one of four young daughters in bed yet. "Gee we forgot we had daughters and how could we know this could turn out awkward?")

It's a shame actually, as I usually enjoy an author with good detail and descriptive skills, but I sometimes found myself asking why she'd go into so much fine detail about an ultimately irrelevant thing or inconsequential observation.

So I found the parents to be spineless push-overs and their tolerance levels far beyond reality and the daughters just...yuck. I couldn't spend any more time with any of them and pulled the plug.

17 personnes sur 20 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Rattus Rattus
  • 2019-09-04

The Worst of the Workshop

I can only assume Miller and Makkai owe the author some kind of blood debt. Why else would such luminaries risk their reputations by recommending such pedantic, poorly constructed, badly written drivel? Lombardo needs to go back to school. Hopefully this time someplace where she might learn a thing or twelve about sentences and human nature. This book is almost unbearably bad.

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente