Author Claire Lombardo’s new novel, The Most Fun We Ever Had, has been named one of the most anticipated books of the summer by People, O Magazine, LitHub, and more—and with Emily Rankin narrating the audiobook, listeners can count on a heaping helping of additional awesome. We caught up with Emily for the behind-the-mic scoop…and a few other summer sundries.
Tell us a little about The Most Fun We Ever Had
Wow, this book…it leaves me speechless, itâs so good. Claire Lombardo wrote a modern-day family epic like nothing else except, I donât know, Tolstoy? But funnier. The Most Fun We Ever Had brings us deep into the lives of the Connollys, a family of four daughters in the suburbs of Chicago, and we jump from the present to the past and back again to unravel the mysteries, small and large, that work their way into the ties that bind: marriage, parenting, and sisterhood.
June is Audiobook Month, and weâre celebrating! Do you have a celebration ritual for when you finish narrating an audiobook (or when you first learn youâve been cast as a reader)?
My ritual after finding out Iâve gotten cast on an audiobook looks a lot like Sally Fieldâs famous Oscar speech: âYou like me! You really like me!â Only Iâm standing in the kitchen in a robe and fuzzy socks, eating chocolate before breakfast.
Which character from this book would you invite to a summer dinner party, and why?
Definitely Wendy, the oldest sister, because sheâd make it an Event to Remember. Sheâs chaotic, caustic, and darkly funny, with a mastery of day-drinking and a well-honed B.S. detector. Having her over for a dinner party would be like playing hot potato with a live grenade. Exciting!
Is there a summer song that makes you want to celebrate/get up and dance?
Well, I was a teen girl in the â90âs, so my summertime vibe will always be Mariah Carey rollerblading through the âFantasyâ music video. Itâs fun to tap into that wonder and excitement you felt when school was out and you hoped something magical might happen to you before September.
And in honor of Audiobook Month, whatâs your next audio listen and what made you chose it?
For summer reading, I go for mysteries and thrillers, so Iâm excited to listen to the latest by Brad Parks: The Last Act, read by Graham Halstead. I became a big fan last year after getting to narrate another book of his, Closer Than You Know. Heâs a fantastic writer, and his stories grip you and donât let you off the ride till the last page.
Listen to a clip of Emily reading The Most Fun We Ever Had:
A dazzling, multigenerational story in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple—still madly in love after forty years—recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives theyâve built.
Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us.
Check out more great audiobooks narrated by Emily Rankin here!