Read The Most Fun We Ever Had Online

Authors: Claire Lombardo

The Most Fun We Ever Had

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2019 by Claire Lombardo

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, and distributed in Canada by Random House of Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited, Toronto.

www.doubleday.com

DOUBLEDAY and the portrayal of an anchor with a dolphin are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

Cover art by Joël Penkman/Handsome Frank Ltd (based on a photograph by Patrizia Savarese/Getty Images)

Cover design by Emily Mahon

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Lombardo, Claire, 1988– author.

Title: The most fun we ever had : a novel / by Claire Lombardo.

Description: First edition. | New York : Doubleday, [2019]

Identifiers: LCCN 2018036701 | ISBN 9780385544252 (hardcover) | ISBN 9780385544269 (ebook) | ISBN 9780385545419 (open market)

Classification: LCC PS3612.O453 M67 2019 | DDC 813/.6—dc23

LC record available at
https://lccn.loc.gov/2018036701

Ebook ISBN 9780385544269

v5.4

ep

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

The Offspring

Part One: Spring

Chapter One
Chapter Two
1975
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
1976–1977

Part Two: Summer

Chapter Five
Chapter Six
1977–1978
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
1978–1979
Chapter Nine
1983–1984
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
1984–1985
Chapter Twelve

Part Three: Fall

Chapter Thirteen
1992–1993
Chapter Fourteen
1993
Chapter Fifteen
1994–1995
Chapter Sixteen
1995
Chapter Seventeen
1996
Chapter Eighteen
1996
Chapter Nineteen
1996
Chapter Twenty
1997

Part Four: Winter

Chapter Twenty-one
1998
Chapter Twenty-two
2000
Chapter Twenty-three
2000–2001
Chapter Twenty-four
2001
Chapter Twenty-five
2002
Chapter Twenty-six
2005
Chapter Twenty-seven
2006
Chapter Twenty-eight
2010–2011
Chapter Twenty-nine
2011
Chapter Thirty
2013
Chapter Thirty-one
Chapter Thirty-two
2014
Chapter Thirty-three
2014
Chapter Thirty-four
The Midst of Life

Acknowledgments

A Note About the Author

For Sally and Tony Lombardo,
MY MOM AND DAD
THE OFFSPRING
April 15, 2000
Sixteen years earlier

Other people overwhelmed her. Strange, perhaps, for a woman who’d added four beings to the universe of her own reluctant volition, but a fact nonetheless: Marilyn rued the inconvenient presence of bodies, bodies beyond her control, her understanding; bodies beyond her favor. She rued them now, from her shielded spot beneath the ginkgo tree, where she was hiding from her guests. She’d always had that knack for entertaining, but it drained her, fully, time and time again, decades of her father’s wealthy clients and her husband’s humorless colleagues; of her children’s temperamental friends; of her transitory neighbors and ever-shifting roster of customers. And yet, today: a hundred-odd near strangers in her backyard, humans in motion, staying in motion, formally clad; tipsy celebrants of the union of her eldest daughter, Wendy, people who were her responsibility for this evening, when she already had so much on her plate—not literally, for she’d neglected to take advantage of the farm-fresh menu spread over three extra-long card tables, but elementally—four girls for whose presences she was biologically and socially responsible, polka-dotting the lawn in their summer pastels. The fruits of her womb, implanted repeatedly by the sweetness of her husband, who was currently nowhere to be found. She’d fallen into motherhood without intent, producing a series of daughters with varying shades of hair and varying degrees of unease. She, Marilyn Sorenson, née Connolly—a resilient product of money and tragedy, from dubious socioemotional Irish-Catholic lineage but now, for all intents and purposes, as functional as they come: an admirably natural head of dirty-blond hair, marginally conversant in both literary criticism and the lives of her children, wearing a fitted forest green sheath that exposed the athletic curve of her calves and the freckled landscape of her shoulders. People kept referring to her with great drama as the
mother of the bride,
and she was trying to act the part, trying to pretend that she wasn’t focused almost exclusively on the well-being of her children, none of whom, that particular evening, seemed to be thriving.

Other books

Silver Silence by Joy Nash
The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan
Forgotten Souls by Tiffany King
The Wells Bequest by Polly Shulman
Tomas by James Palumbo
Spying on Miss Muller by Eve Bunting
An Ideal Duchess by Evangeline Holland
Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
The Peco Incident by Des Hunt
Not My Apocalypse by Devin Harnois