Gravity Is the Thing Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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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 16th birthday. She believes the absurdity of The Guidebook and the mystery of her brother's disappearance must be connected.
Now 35, 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.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 21 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||10 April 2019|
|Publisher||Wavesound from W. F. Howes Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 42,624 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
180 in Contemporary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
3,933 in Contemporary Literature & Fiction
54,230 in Genre Fiction (Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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What captures a reader’s attention straight away is the startlingly quirky style of writing. When super sensitive Abi describes a kettle as shy, it’s odd, but you know what she means. As the novel progresses, the writing style becomes more straightforward, but what doesn’t change is Abi’s desire to understand - well - everything: causation, love, why Robert disappeared and so on. She has a period of reading all the major self-help books she never read before and makes entertaining and sometimes acidic comments about them. When talking about “I’m OK - You’re OK”, she mentions the two possible responses given in the book that a husband might give to his wife about dust on the coffee table. (The thought that the husband might dust the coffee table himself isn’t one of them.)
Back in Sydney, the group of very disparate individuals meet weekly in Wilbur’s flat to learn about all things “flying”. Abi, once a lawyer and now owner/manager of the Happiness Cafe finds parenthood a joy and a frustration and herself longing for love and companionship. Moriarty very skilfully adds layers of incident and meaning from the past and the present to build a complex picture of Abi’s interior life and by extension, our appreciation and understanding of life as well. For a while it looks like she’s going to get it on with red-haired flipper of properties Niall. Later in the book she remembers Niall saying that he was OK with her having Oscar, and realises the subtext: it’s as though he felt entitled to demand that she ditch the kid if it didn’t suit him to have Oscar around. Much later, Oscar has a medical emergency and Abi is desperate that the Rule of Three (losses) not apply (one of the book’s many themes. It is full of a lot of knowledge. I got a lot of good Trivia questions out of it). It’s Wilbur in the end who helps Abi to see that though she’s been blaming herself for Robert and Finn, there are other ways to interpret the same information.
As others have said, this is often a very funny book. Oscar says a lot of funny 4 yo things. When told that Wilbur was named after one of the Wright brothers a character says “Which one?” Reply: “It wasn’t Orville.” It’s also a book that will have tears coursing down your cheeks and warmth in your heart and mind. Six stars.
Top reviews from other countries
Jaclyn Moriarty is a gifted writer, no doubt about that. She is at her best in characterising the narrator's little boy Oscar. There was one passage that made me laugh out loud and was so funny I highlighted it in my kindle so I could read it again - not something I have ever done before.
The main reason I read to the end was to find out what happened to the main character’s brother - a clever plot hook that meant I had to finish the book.
Goodness there was a lot of guff! Especially about 75-80% of the way through when I felt I was wading through a swamp. All the italicised self-help preachy nonsense really spoiled it for me. Such a shame! It needed a good editor to slash it by about a third; at the moment it's like an uncut diamond. You could have cut about 100 pages and not lost anything. I don't know why she had to frame it with the self-help narrative as it wasn't necessary.
I wondered whether this was her first book and she lacked confidence so had to use this prop of the self-help stuff as she didn't believe in her story without it. But then again I realised that she must be an established - and successful - author because a new novelist would have had the guff edited out down to the bone.
Overall a strange book that is well-written by a gifted writer. A shame about 30% of it was so swampy.
It’s the story of 30 something Abi, single mum, ex lawyer and cafe owner. Abi’s life has been dominated by two events - the disappearance of her brother as a teenager and the collapse of her marriage. Since her teenage years, Abi has received regular (random) chapters of a self help book “The Guidebook” in the post. She’s used some of the random wisdom in there as her signpost in life.
The story begins when Abi is invited to an all expenses paid trip to discover the secret behind “The Guidebook”. She goes along, not sure if she’ll be lured into a cult, sold a time-share or parted with her life savings. The truth, when is comes, is totally off-the-wall, leaves the Guidebook followers reeling, but also bonds them together in unexpected ways.
This is a tale about Abi and her path to moving through life and moving on from tragedy. It’s also a wry observation on the cult of self help books, and the impossibility of taking on all the advice on offer!
In all honesty, I found the book slow going for the first half. But, once we started to learn more about Abi, her failed marriage and all of the threads woven into the story came together, I was hooked! And by the end, I absolutely loved it
Give it a try if you’re looking for something a bit different!
60% of the way through though I started checking how far I had to go, (not a good sign) and I think this was because the initial light quirky style became rather stodgy. Instead of allowing the reader to 'find' the story, I felt the author was pushing a point at me. This was especially true of the penultimate chapters.
I did enjoy the book though and thought it had a satisfactory ending.
Abi's hard truth to swallow about her brother, and hard fall due to her husband, these are ring true as the weight we carry around with us.
It wasn't simply a feel-good book, though I did feel good at the end. It was a lovely exploration.