I can’t remember where or when I first heard the news that Jaclyn Moriarty had a new adult fiction novel coming out this year, but I have met her at a couple of events before (All Day YA at the SWF in 2017
and a YA event at the Canberra Writers Festival
the same year) and I think she is delightful so I was pretty sure I would enjoy it and jumped at the chance to get my hands on a review copy when I saw Gravity is the Thing
in the Pan Macmillan catalogue.
I’m not quite sure where to start if I was to describe it, so I’m going to share the summary from the website, then tell you a bit about what I enjoyed so much about it!
Abigail Sorensen has spent her life trying to unwrap the events of 1990.
It was the year she started receiving random chapters from a self-help book called The Guidebook in the post.
It was also the year Robert, her brother, disappeared on the eve of her sixteenth birthday.
She believes the absurdity of The Guidebook and the mystery of her brother’s disappearance must be connected.
Now thirty-five, owner of The Happiness Café and mother of four-year-old Oscar, Abigail has been invited to learn the truth behind The Guidebook at an all-expenses-paid retreat.
What she finds will be unexpected, life-affirming, and heartbreaking.
Somehow, Moriarty manages to hit the absolute perfect balance of quirky to the point of almost completely absurd and so authentic that it felt like she was inside my head.
I’m not going to lie – the stream of consciousness style that most of the narrative takes, along with the quirkiness of both the story and the characters, is not going to be for everyone. Personally though, I found it completely charming, and loved the intimacy that came from seeing the story from so firmly inside Abigail’s mind. I also suspect that the fact I’m a 30-something woman with a just-turned-five year old helped with the how relatable I found it. There where whole scenes between Abigail and her son that mirror almost exactly conversations and experiences that I have had with my own daughter.
Despite the fact that there are some parts of this book that are almost comically absurd, there were also many that were incredibly moving. I loved the way the breakdown of Abigail’s marriage was revealed, and towards the end of the book everything got quite intense and my heart stopped a few times.
I adored the experience of reading this and gave it five out of five stars.
***Gravity is the Thing***
Out now from Pan Macmillan Australia
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Find Jaclyn Moriarty online here