Gravity Is the Thing

by Jaclyn Moriarty


One of Real Simple’s Best Books of 2019

“I loved this book. . . .Funny, heartbreaking and clever with a mystery at its heart.” -Jojo Moyes

“With an eye as keen for human idiosyncrasies as Miranda July’s, and a sense of humor as bright and surprising as Maria Semple’s, this is a novel of pure velocity.” -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Twenty years ago, Abigail Sorenson’s brother Robert went missing one day before her sixteenth birthday, never to be seen again. That same year, she began receiving scattered chapters in the mail of a self-help manual, the Guidebook, whose anonymous author promised to make her life soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams.

The Guidebook’s missives have remained a constant in Abi’s life—a befuddling yet oddly comforting voice through her family’s grief over her brother’s disappearance, a move across continents, the devastating dissolution of her marriage, and the new beginning as a single mother and café owner in Sydney.

Now, two decades after receiving those first pages, Abi is invited to an all-expenses paid weekend retreat to learn “the truth” about the Guidebook. It’s an opportunity too intriguing to refuse. If Everything is Connected, then surely the twin mysteries of the Guidebook and a missing brother must be linked?

What follows is completely the opposite of what Abi expected––but it will lead her on a journey of discovery that will change her life––and enchant readers. Gravity Is the Thing is a smart, unusual, wickedly funny novel about the search for happiness that will break your heart into a million pieces and put it back together, bigger and better than before.

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This is simply a really charming book. As some chapters are only a single paragraph long, it works well when you’re on the go (as well as when you’ve got more time to read longer chapters too). We gradually piece together the life of Abigail over twenty years. She is a single parent and Happiness Café owner whose brother disappeared when he was fifteen and has never been found. Are there any clues in The Guidebook, a weird self-help book that has been mailed to Abigail over many years? The story is not linear but wanders in unexpected directions, but it’s worth joining the journey to get to know Abi and her young son Oscar. The tone is bittersweet and the characters are relatable. What’s not to enjoy?

0 Responses posted in February
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