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The Most Fun We Ever Had

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  63,660 ratings  ·  7,218 reviews
ASIN B07K26C9WK moved to this edition.
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 r
Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by W&N
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Mbg This was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. A BIT confusing in the beginning, many characters, but it didn’t take long to follow. Maybe y…moreThis was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. A BIT confusing in the beginning, many characters, but it didn’t take long to follow. Maybe you have to be married many years, go thru having infant children, teens to adult children, to fully appreciate how well the author can describe the reality of those feelings, going thru those times.
Funny, recently, I suggested the book to my sister, we usually have similar taste in books. She stopped reading it after the first few chapters. But, she is single with no children. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed and could relate? (less)
Boyce I've seen people complain that he calls his wife, "kid". I love pet names and see nothing wrong with it. Also, I think in a day and time where people …moreI've seen people complain that he calls his wife, "kid". I love pet names and see nothing wrong with it. Also, I think in a day and time where people don't work very hard for their relationships it's admirable that they stay together and choose to love each other. I'm not finished reading this book. I have gone back and forth loving this story and not being crazy about it. Mostly, I think the daughters are so selfish and mean to their mom for no good reason at all.(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  63,660 ratings  ·  7,218 reviews

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The Most Fun We Ever Had grew on me like a rash: the more I read this book the more I grew firm in my opinion that not only did I dislike it, but that I in fact actively hated it. Its bloated length⁠—532 pages⁠—is almost designed to make its every fault as glaring and grating as possible. (i started listening to its audiobook at 1.25x speed and finished it listening at 2.5x speed so make of that what you will lol)

Here's a very extensive list of some of the things about Lombardo's writing that
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, adult-reads
So this one was (maybe) a 3.5 ⭐️ read for me. It took me almost 2 weeks to finish this 500+ page family saga. If I'm to be honest I found myself bored at times and absolutely enthralled at others. There were times when I put the book down and read another book in its entirety before picking this one back up. Yet, I felt compelled to see it through and finish. I could see glimpses of myself in Marilyn and that was one of the main reasons why I continued turning the pages.

The Sorenson family was
Angela M
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars rounded up.
I’ll get it out upfront. At over 500 pages, this novel is just way too long. Granted, it’s a family saga covering decades with multiple narratives of a husband and wife, their four grown daughters and a fifteen year old grandson who comes into the mix. It felt like a made for TV series. I was reminded so much of dysfunctional TV families like the one in “Brothers and Sisters”, where the characters are always in each other’s faces, in each other’s business all of the time or
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually don’t write reviews but my disappointment in the book was so huge it inspired me to write one. I do NOT understand all the 4 and 5 star reviews this book received. A summary of this book in a nutshell: David and Marilyn are incredibly clueless on how ill-prepared their precious children are to handle life’s ups and downs. Oh and there is a ginkgo tree in their yard. The end.

This book is over 500 pages. If you are going to write a book this big it needs to keep the reader interested thr
Nilufer Ozmekik
Another dysfunctional family book , 500 pages long, 4 daughters who are mostly annoying and unbearable, bring it on, this is one of the most challenging experience for me! ( Reading Goldfinch was not challenge, it was long and all those amazing sentences needed to absorb slowly like sipping a cold, splendid, special drink which burns down your throat and awakens all your senses! Reading this book was challenge like reading Black Leopard and Red Wolf! But at least I mostly enjoyed this one!)

May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of this novel is an old soul. Lombardo deeply understands marriage, sisterhood and plain old ordinary family dysfunction which is present on every character driven page. From the outside, the parents’ marriage seems flawless. Naturally, from the inside it is not without its peaks and valleys. However, it is based upon a deep and abiding love that seems to be unattainable to their four daughters within their own lives. Each of the sisters has their own crosses to bear. For Wendy it is ...more
An easy 5 stars for me. This is about as good as character driven family sagas get!

I hope you have the ability to clear your schedule. The Sorenson's will instantly grab you and won't let go until the very last page. I love character driven family saga/dramas and this one has plenty of everything. A peek into a seemingly perfect marriage between the parents and the rollercoaster ride that is the lives of their FOUR daughters.

I think what I found so refreshing and relatable about this was how ho
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this imperfect story realistically captures the essence of the imperfect complexities of marriage, parenthood, sisterly bonds, and familial ties.

and reading this long family saga felt very much like a family - quite entertaining at times but has its boring moments, you want to be near it and then desire some distance as soon as possible, and sometimes it frustrates you to no end but you still love it anyway.

i dont tend to read many of these kinds of stories as im a reader who is motivated by p
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Lord, did I love this novel. Imagine a perfectly crafted mash-up of LITTLE WOMEN and THE CORRECTIONS. Hilarious one moment, haunting the next, and always -- always -- so authentic and deeply felt. Claire Lombardo has given us all a spectacular gift: the Sorenson family.
Hannah Greendale
Second read from the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction longlist.

The most engaging aspect of this multi-generational drama is the authenticity of its characters. Complex and imperfect, simmering with jealousy, impulsive and turbulent. Some actively engage in avoidance while others rush headlong into conflict, offering readers more than one shocking moment of thinking, Did she really just say that??

Character dialogue is genuine, demonstrating incomplete thoughts and natural breaks in speech. And the
If this book were a meal it would be a 10-course dinner with quite a few savory morsels, but settle in because you’ll be cutting through a bit of fat and gristle and there’s going to be a lot chewing.

There is a good story here, but it is buried under an avalanche of run-on sentences and a surfeit of words. One sentence clocked in at 157 words and at more than 500 pages, reading often became arduous. And then there were the tortured sentences:

The vulpine abilities of his body, incongruous with th
Claire Lombardo's debut is a fascinating epic character driven, multi-generational Chicago family drama with all its complexities through the decades from the 1970s. Marilyn Connelly and David Sorenson's love for each other has more than survived the decades, they have 4 now adult daughters, Wendy, Violet, Liza and Grace who have felt pressured to emulate the loving example of their parents. In reality, their idyllic relationship has gone through the some of the customary ups and downs than is p ...more
Elyse  Walters
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition by Emily Rankin...
Synced with reading the ebook.

....Family saga

....The messy, funny, sincere & pathetic, flawed & textured characters....were not particularly sympathetic characters, yet they are somewhat realistic.

....Impressive ambitious debut...but at times I thought the dialogue was exhausting and tedious. Other times I thought it was brilliantly fascinating.

....a little too wordy
and definitely too long...
....the writing was witty, interesting & engaging —giving a decent
Aug 14, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, fiction, 2021
2.5 stars

In a nutshell: this book was like a bad soap opera I couldn’t stop reading. The characters were annoying (especially Wendy), the book had too many pages, and the story was just not that interesting. Further, there wasn't much going on throughout the book. Also, not worth the high ratings.

I listened to the audio on a staycation so I'll remember it for a while as the book that kept me company, especially since the audio wouldn't end. I had no idea why Lombardo decided this family saga nee

switterbug (Betsey)
Lombardo’s character-driven, eventful, tumultuous, witty, serious, gregarious, tragic, and infectious domestic dramady of a big Chicago family kept me fastened to the pages of this big, buoyant book. Yes, it is a tome, but once you are installed in the story, it pulls you naturally along. I cared and cringed and chuckled and cried with each of the four sisters and their parents (and then there’s the third gen of kids). Each character was individualized and any one of them could have leaped off t ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There’s an exchange near the end when Grace tells Ben she’s returning home, and he recollects for her her own descriptions of her family members. Those three paragraphs are all you need to read. The other 531 and a half pages are variations on Ginkgo tree worship, parents constantly reminiscing on their sex life, affluent yet thirsty sisters being snarky (and worse) to each other and their mom (because they would never talk to dad that way), and some kid reminding his recently discovered biologi ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Doubleday for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Just a couple of young women looking into their future, back in that nice soft space where they fit seamlessly together, before the world had grown so much larger than their grasp.

For a book over five hundred pages long, this severely disappointed me. Books that are this length are either a Stephen King novel or a book with a really good story. Usually, a book this long means the author was made to choose
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Or Easter, as the case was here.

In all honesty, I picked this one up because I kept getting it confused with A Good Neighborhood due to the cover similarities. I didn’t read a synopsis for either, just noted that my friends gave both pretty high ratings and added them to the TBR in hopes that I would eventually be able to tell them apart.

I started The Most Fun We Ever Had on Good Friday knowing that I would probably have loads of
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A character driven book needs characters that I actually like. In addition to more likable characters this could have used a good edit. There is no reason that it took that much to tell the story of this upper-middle class suburban family.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Diving into a 550-page novel – as opposed to, say, a 300-page novel – is the difference between a dalliance and a full-blown commitment. You have to really like these characters to spend time in their lives and inside their heads for days at a time. It may not be the most fun you’ve ever had, but it has to be darn close.

So let’s start here: I liked the Sorenson family. I liked its messiness, quirkiness, heartaches and triumphs. And I didn’t regret one single hour that I was immersed in their wor
Oct 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Most Fun We Ever Had is a top notch family drama, the kind of story I love and am frequently drawn to — I couldn’t get enough of the Sorenson family, with parents Marilyn and David who at present time in the story, have been married nearly 40 years. They have 4 adult daughters — Wendy, Violet, Liza, and Grace, each dealing with their own challenges in life. All of their lives are jolted when someone from the past re-enters, unexpectedly, whose existence was a long-held secret.

The story shif
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best reads of 2019, bar none. I am calling it... this book will win all of the awards. Claire Lombardo is the next Kingsolver. Here it is in writing, in January of 2019, and I can't wait to look back on this and know how right I was. 

Lombardo's debut novel is truly a work of art. It follows the Sorenson family, consisting of Marilyn and David (the parents), and their four daughters, Wendy, Violet, Liza, and Grace. Each character has their own personality, truly distinct and ye
Anne Bogel
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a good family saga, so I've been meaning to read this since the spring. To be honest, I was intimidated by the length, but when a friend assured me it doesn't drag and that Lombardo's authorial voice is gold, I picked it right up and read it in three days (and it's a 500-pager, so that's saying something!)

This is the story of a married couple and their four grown daughters. In the opening pages, one daughter reveals a huge family secret, and the novel tracks what happens in the next year
Jamie Rosenblit
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know that feeling you get when you start a book and immediately know it’s going to be special? That was the feeling I had with The Most Fun We Ever Had and it was spot on. Books that follow a group of characters over decades have always been the kind that speak to me in a special way, namely, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer - a gold standard that I’ve held many other books to over the years. From the beginning, I realized that Most Fun would be a new standard for me, Lombardo has a way with ...more
Jessica Jeffers
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, edelweiss
This did not need to be 530 pages long, but man it was great.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Most Fun We Ever Had probably would have been more fun with less than 532 pages. But I don't think it would have been as good. This novel follows one complicated, flawed family over more than 40 years. Cutting "unnecessary pages" might accidentally remove the heart of this book which is an overflowing web of hundreds of possibly insignificant moments building into a powerful whole. By the end, I felt like I knew each family member enough to care deeply about them. And I would have been happy ...more
Renee (itsbooktalk)
DNF 55%. I know that's a long way to get in a book and then put it down but I had this on audio and I couldn't take the narration anymore. Not that the narrator was bad, she was excellent, it was the fact that so much of the dialogue in the book is wrote in a staccato, abrupt, leave words off sentences, interrupting each other kind of way and by this point I couldn't listen anymore. Also, nothing was happening for me. I kept waiting for drama or for something exciting to shake things up but by t ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yikes. Am 3% in and am uber irritated. Moving on.
I love domestic fiction, especially ones that examine marriages, sibling rivalries, and socioeconomically differences. “The Most Fun We Ever Had” is a saga of Marilyn and David Sorenson’s forty-year marriage, messiness and all. This isn’t a fast read. It’s one to be savored. Author Claire Lombardo writes every sentence with precision. All the characters, with vastly differing perspectives, are written with clarity. Lombardo shows how menial things can be misinterpreted resulting in decades of ba ...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
As the eldest of three sisters, this book got my attention. Family drama with a bunch of sisters and ensuing familial issues? Sounds delightful, relatable and kind of cathartic.

But my feelings for this dysfunctional family drama weren't quite so clear. Early on, I was intrigued by the complex dynamics in the Sorenson family and felt that Lombardi understood the messy, loving, frustrating and complicated dynamics between sisters. Oh m'word, so complicated. Within this hefty tome, there's lots of
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CLAIRE LOMBARDO earned her MFA in fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, and spent several years doing social work in Chicago. ...more

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