Review: Happens Every Day


Touching, Emotional, one of the better memoirs I have read

Isabel Gillies had a wonderful life - a handsome, intelligent, loving husband; two glorious toddlers; a beautiful house; the time and place to express all her ebullience and affection and optimism. Suddenly, that life was over. (Source: Website)

The book opens with Gillies stating “I am not a writer but I have been told I write good emails”. She is a wife/mother/woman telling her story. While reading some reviews on BN.COM, I read that some have criticized Gillies because she is vocal about her husband’s indiscretions and the potential impact to her children as they grow up. This is may be valid but you can also say she’s a woman with a story that MANY women can relate to or have compassion for.

Gillies shares her fairytale with us, describing moving to a small college town in Ohio, getting settled and building a new life. While reading the memoir you read that she is aware that something has changed almost from the beginning. This is the story of how she fought to ignore the signs and challenged the signs at the same time.

Click here to watch an interview on BN.COM

Today show video, Click here

Type: Memoir, 272 pages, Hardcover

Synopsis:
Isabel Gillies had a wonderful life — a handsome, intelligent, loving husband; two glorious toddlers; a beautiful house; the time and place to express all her ebullience and affection and optimism. Suddenly, that life was over. Her husband, Josiah, announced that he was leaving her and their two young sons.

When Josiah took a teaching job at a Midwestern college, Isabel and their sons moved with him from New York City to Ohio, where Isabel taught acting, threw herself into the college community, and delighted in the less-scheduled lives of toddlers raised away from the city. But within a few months, the marriage was over. The life Isabel had made crumbled. "Happens every day," said a friend.

Far from a self-pitying diatribe, Happens Every Day reads like an intimate conversation between friends. Gillies has written a dizzyingly candid, compulsively readable, ultimately redemptive story about love, marriage, family, heartbreak, and the unexpected turns of a life. On the one hand, reading this book is like watching a train wreck. On the other hand, as Gillies herself says, it is about trying to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness, and loving your life even if it has slipped away. Hers is a remarkable new voice — instinctive, funny, and irresistible.

Reviews:
Gillies movingly evokes the salt-on-wound sadness of loving a spouse turned stranger. —People

I couldn't help but admire her bravery in exposing the dark side of her seemingly perfect life in such a good-humored, self-effacing way. You feel nothing but deepest sympathy. —Elle

A smart, rueful memoir of love, betrayal, and survival. -O, The Oprah Magazine

3 comments

  1. I keep looking at this one but have put it back down repeatedly due to the tower of books in my TBR pile. Guess I'm going to have to add one more and hope the pile doesn't fall!

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  2. Hey Mari, I read Happens Every Day and LOVED IT! Finished it in two days!

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  3. I liked the description of academic life in Oberlin but overall I thought the book was pretty weak. Not insightful or well written, but a mildly entertaining diversion. Like watching a Lifetime movie or reading a magazine. But not a book worth buying, in my opinion.

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