16 July 2019

Today's Read: Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

Review of Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn MoriartyWhat if, over the years, you were mailed unsolicited random chapters of a self-help book? What if the manuscript started showing up soon after your brother disappeared? What if you were only sixteen when you began reading the book that promised you every good thing? Now imagine time passing and you have a young child and a failed marriage. Would you accept an invitation to visit a small island to find out what it all means? This is Abigail Sorenson's story, and it starts like this:

A tall man at the airstrip took my suitcase.

He was tall in a long, lean, bony way, which he had tried to disguise with loose clothes. But at each gust of wind, the clothes clung fiercely, so that mostly he was out there on his own. A long, narrow flagpole of a man. He had a headful of curls, and these were unafraid. Crazed and rollicking, those curls.

"Snow," he said, smiling, as he took my suitcase form me. I stared.
Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty (Harper, July 23, p. 1 [ARC])

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Australia, Sydney and beyond
  • Circumstances: Abi is still grieving for her lost brother, who went missing just before her sixteenth birthday. Although she's a business owner and has a law degree, she struggles with everyday life, including accepting her divorce and caring for her young son. A mysterious and steady thread of her life is the periodic packages that include parts of The Guidebook, a book that promises to have all the answers. When she gets the chance to meet the other people who have been reading the guidebook all those years and to hear what the son of the book's author has to say about life, she says yes. But does she find the answers she's looking for and will she ever be able to accept herself and find a way to enjoy life?.
  • Genre & themes: contemporary fiction; quirky premise; grief, relationships, human connections; humor
  • Why I want to read it: I find it hard to resist book set in Australia and I like the idea behind the novel. There are the the mysteries of The Guidebook and what happened to Abi's brother. There's promised humor and spoofing of the self-help industry. There's the hope that Abi can heal and can find happiness in herself and in her relationships.
  • Extra things to know: The novel is told through Abi's eyes but also includes text from The Guidebook as well as her internal dialogue. The novel doesn't unfold chronologically as Abi ages from teen to adult, but is more circular, as she remembers her past and is experiencing her present. The novel won much praise and some starred reviews. Goodreads gives it 3.9 stars, and most reviewers mention that the humor tempers the deeper, more serious themes.
  • Acknowledgments: Thanks to Harper Books for the print galley of Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty.

7 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 7/16/19, 7:04 AM  

Interesting Intro, now just who is the very thin man at the airport ? LOL I'd have to read a bit more before deciding.

Here's my pick:

https://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2019/07/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday_16.html

bermudaonion 7/16/19, 8:55 AM  

I bet that's a good one.

shelleyrae @ book'd out 7/16/19, 11:03 AM  

I haven’t read this yet, the premise is a little odd I think.

Laurel-Rain Snow 7/16/19, 12:05 PM  

I have enjoyed books from all the Moriarty sisters...and this one sounds like another to savor. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL”

Vicki 7/16/19, 2:16 PM  

Sounds interesting, I'd keep reading.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 7/16/19, 5:29 PM  

It's an interesting premise--I'd read on to find out more.

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