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Publisher Description

'Astonishingly wonderful and magical and moving and uplifting and DIFFERENT.' Marian Keyes

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.

A story with extraordinary heart, warmth and wisdom.


'I loved this book. It's rare for me to have no idea where a story is headed but I only knew that I didn't want it to end. Funny, heartbreaking and clever with a mystery at its heart.' Jojo Moyes

'A brilliant, beautiful, hilarious, heartbreaking, extraordinary book. I say this without bias, only awe.' Liane Moriarty

'Jaclyn Moriarty writes with such intimacy and charm, it's like talking to your dream best friend. But then she weaves a story so compelling, and heartbreaking, and profound, it could only have come from an extraordinary writer.' Laura Bloom

'A thoughtful, beautifully written, truly original, and often hilarious meditation on loss, hope, the self-help industry, and the difficulties of navigating life on earth.' Emily St. John Mandel

Fiction & Literature
26 March
Pan Macmillan Australia
Macmillan Publishers Australia and Pan Macmillan Australia

Customer Reviews

BtM Jano ,

Gravity is the thing

Loved this book for its quirkiness and intrigue. A really fascinating journey of thought and characters.
If your looking for a book from left of field this is it. Do read it.

Michelle#NovelBunch ,

Gravity is the thing

Beautifully written, words that are ‘tasted’ and explored in a way that made me rethink my own position in my life.

rhitc ,

Gravity waves

Gravity Is The Thing
Jaclyn Moriarty 2019
* Second adult novel by acclaimed Australian author of children’s and young adult fiction, who is also the younger sister of Liane (Big Little Lies) Moriarty.
* Liane’s Wikipedia entry describes her as the older sister of Jaclyn, while Jaclyn’s says the same thing in reverse, just like the entries for Charlotte and Emily Brontë.
* The spooky thing is, a third sister Nicola Moriarty is also a novelist. I wonder whether the family has been studied for the Brontë gene if such a thing exists.
* It should be noted that Bronte has nothing to do with the beachside suburb of Sydney, which is relevant because the Moriartys come from Sydney and lots of their novels are set there, at least until Reese Witherspoon gets hold of them. (It isn’t relevant really, just me being a smartarse.)
* Jaclyn worked as entertainment lawyer for four years before she started writing full-time. To me, entertainment law is a contradiction in terms. I cite as evidence all those clowns in parliament with law degrees. There’s nothing entertaining about them. (see comment above)
* Anyway, Abi is a mid-thirties former lawyer and single parent who lives in Neutral Bay and runs a trendy bordering on uber-trendy coffee shop on Blues Point Road. We meet her en route to a weekend retreat on an island in Bass Strait.
* Invitees all started receiving chapters of a peculiar self-help book in the mail when they were 15. Now they get to find out why. Or not.
* Abi embarks on a journey of self-discovery that starts as flashbacks to age 15—familiar YA territory for the author—then dips and swoops towards the present day using a metaphor of flight that is ever-present but never overdone. Pithy, well-chosen references to a range of self-help literature, philosophy, and literature flesh things out.
* The many chapters, some very short, come together into a narrative gives the impression of something loose and freeform. In reality, the author maintains tight plot control throughout as she builds to a denouement rather than a climax. The theme is not new, but I marvelled at Ms Moriarty’s skill.
* Comparisons with the work of big sister are inevitable and pointless. They are both masters of their craft. Jaclyn injects more wry humour.
* 4.5 stars (It turns out there’s only so much dipping and swooping I can stomach, no matter how clever.)

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