Named a most anticipated book of the summer by O Magazine, People, Chicago Tribune, NY Post, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, Daily Beast, PopSugar, and LitHub
"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
"Ambitious and brilliantly written."
Jane Smiley, The Washington Post
“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.”
“An assured first novel…The fun—well, that’s in the reading of the novel, which nicely blends comedy with pathos and the sharp- with the soft-edged.”
Wall Street Journal
The Most Fun We Ever Had is a remarkable first-time novel offering such an intimate picture of people’s interior lives I feel as if every one of these characters is now a close friend. Lombardo has the remarkable ability to delve into people’s minds so deeply that the most quotidian moments become utterly fascinating."
Ruth Reichl, Los Angeles Times
“A wonderfully immersive read that packs more heart and heft than most first novels…A deliciously absorbing novel with—brace yourself—a tender and satisfyingly positive take on family.”
“The big family saga of the summer, unfurling the fallout of a long-buried secret and persisting rivalries between four sisters across 50 transformative years.”
“A sprawling, enchanting debut, this novel jumps back and forth across time to tell the story of one powerful, complicated, and utterly unforgettable family as they navigate love and loss.”
Town and Country
"This juicy saga spans more than four decades…You’ll be glad this loopy family isn’t yours, but reading about them is a treat.”
“[A] satisfying multicourse feast.”
“A rich, complex family saga.”
“[A] brilliant debut.”
“A sharp, sly family story of feminine guile and guilt...A fun and brimming tale...Divine.”
“Lombardo captures the complexity of a large family with characters who light up the page with their competition, secrets, and worries…A rich and rewarding family saga.”
“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.”
“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.”
"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
"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 Russo, author of
That Old Cape Magic and
“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.”
New York Times bestselling author of
“What a splendid, spacious, gripping novel Claire Lombardo has written. These pages sparkle with wit and wisdom. I love the four difficult Sorenson daughters, each in the grip of her own emergencies. The Most Fun We Ever Had is a gorgeous and profound debut.”
Margot Livesey, author of
“Remarkably alive and wise, Claire Lombardo's story of the Sorensons is a stunning vision--not just of family or love, but the funny, tender mystery of human connection itself, with all its intensity, charm, and wonder.”
Affinity Konar, author of
“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.”
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.