Tuesday Book Club: “The Way Things Should Be” by Bridie Jabour
Protagonist Claudia Carter is about to get married. In the lead up, she must return home to spend the week with her parents and adult siblings Zoe, Phinn and Poppy. Back in the childhood home, the family attempts to keep the peace, but it isn’t long before old grievances and petty jealousies resurface.
Jabour’s novel is a genuine, funny and endearing study of family in modern Australia. It deals with the relationships between parents and their adult children and the chasm between what we expect in life and what we actually receive. For 20 and 30-something Australians like Claudia and her siblings, living in a time of both expanding social consciousness and increasingly insecure employment and housing is both liberating and suffocating.