Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Book Review: Gravity is the Thing (Contemporary Fiction)

Gravity is the Thing
Jaclyn Moriarty

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Aust 
Publication date: 26th March 2019 
Pages: 480
RRP: $29.99AUD 
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

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.

Abigail is a single mum trying to get on with her life and recognise her desire for love whilst bringing up her child, as best she can. Always doubting herself. Everyone she had loved had left her.

Abi’s mind was always running around in circles and it always came back to Robert’s disappearance.

The mystery of Robert’s disappearance compelled me on until I discovered the relevance of the Guidebook and then this became another part of the story I was intrigued by and eager to find out where and if the two plots would join.

Moriarty’s writing is clever, witty, calm, erratic, whimsical and chaotic changing as the writing reflects Abi’s moods. She breaks all the rules of writing and pulls it off beautifully.

Gravity is the Thing is a story that explores grief and loss and just trying to do your best. It’s about human connection, coincidences and fate. Moriarty is a keen observer of people and their foibles.
This is a thought provoking read that will definitely open up more contemplation on a second reading.

I liked the double meaning in the title, which becomes apparent as the story progresses.
Gravity is the thing that prevents us from flying, literally.
Gravity is the thing that prevents our spirit from flying and attaining happiness.

Moriarty has written a story that is tender and uniquely original.


My rating   4/5


Jaclyn Moriarty is an Australian writer of young adult literature.

She studied English at the University of Sydney, and law at Yale University and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD.

She currently lives in Sydney.

To learn more about the author you can read my interview with Jaclyn Moriarty here


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