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 from a mysterious guidebook, whose anonymous authors promised to make her life soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams.
These 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 learn 'the truth' about the book. It's an opportunity too intriguing to refuse - she believes its absurdity and her brother's disappearance must be connected. What follows is an entirely unexpected journey of discovery that will change Abi's life - and enchant readers.
Gravity Is the Thing is a smart, unusual, wickedly funny novel - heart-warming and life-affirming.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
When Abigail discovers her brother is missing on her 16th birthday, her life is changed irreversibly. Now 35 years old, Abigail searches for a connection between this cataclysmic event and the chapters of The Guidebook she has been mysteriously receiving ever since. This adult debut novel from YA author Jaclyn Moriarty takes us on a soaring adventure, quite like few we’ve read before. Most memorable is the sharp, witty narration which glows even in the most heartbreaking moments. This book—with Moriarty’s profound prose, the touching portrayal of a young mother’s relationship with her five-year -old son and the beautiful, life-affirming ending—made us laugh as often as it brought us to tears.
This tender and frank adult debut by YA novelist Moriarty (The Year of Secret Assignments) follows one woman's search for happiness in a world as brimming with promises of healing as it is overflowing with letdowns. On her 16th birthday, Abi Sorenson's beloved brother went missing. On the very same day, she received the first chapter of a mysterious self-help book titled The Guidebook in the mail, and received chapters intermittently through the years the chapters cover everything from the death of metaphysics (in a single paragraph) to winking criticism of Keats to more traditional self-help metaphors. Now 36 with a young son, and 20 years into the lessons of The Guidebook and still reeling from the unresolved circumstances of her brother's disappearance, as well as grieving her ruined marriage Abi is invited to a remote island to learn the truth about why these messages came to her. The course ultimately leads her back to her hometown and an opportunity to further explore the mysteries surrounding The Guidebook with others whose life it has haunted which, she hopes, might somehow help her find her brother. 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; it sucks the reader into Abi's problems and her joys in equal, brilliant measure. A complex dissection of the self-help industry, as well as a complete and moving portrait of a difficult, delightful woman, Moriarty proves her adult novels can live up to her YA work's reputation.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I tried to persist with this book and got to page 323 before I decided that my time was too precious to keep going with a book that I cannot fathom. I just cannot figure out if it’s supposed to be comedic, profound or a metaphor for how to live your life but I’m done!