'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 humour, vividness and acute psychological insight.' Madeline Miller, author of CIRCE and the Women's-Prize-winning THE SONG OF ACHILLES
At a family wedding, the four Sorenson sisters polka-dot the green lawn in their summer pastels, with varying shades of hair and varying degrees of unease. Their long-infatuated parents watch on with a combination of love and concern.
Sixteen years later, the already messy lives of the sisters are thrown into turmoil by the unexpected reappearance of a teenage boy given up for adoption years earlier - and the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons' past is revealed.
Weaving between past and present, The Most Fun We Ever Had portrays the delights and difficulties of family life and the endlessly complex mixture of affection and abhorrence we feel for those closest to us. A dazzlingly accomplished debut and an utterly immersive portrait of one family's becoming, it marks the arrival of a major new literary voice.
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
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.