Advance reader reviews of The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson.

The Stuff That Never Happened

By Maddie Dawson

The Stuff That Never Happened
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2010,
    336 pages.

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There are currently 22 member reviews
for The Stuff That Never Happened
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  • Barbara C. (Orchard Park, NY)


    The Stuff That Never Happened
    A really good read that will resonate with older women readers who have lived through the times that shaped Annabelle. I was surprised that I ended up liking it as much as I did as I seemed to know how it would end, but the characters were well defined and their relationships interesting. A good book club choice especially if all ages are represented in the group - lots of interesting discussion, I would think.
  • Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)


    Bumpy Ride
    The book held my attention, but it was upsetting at times...probably because the whole sexual revolution thing always bothered me. I think those, who went through that, would be more likely to understand what Annabelle was going through than I was. I could never imagine living in a situation like she was, either. I did like the book, but it had it's ups & downs for me.
  • June A. (Randallstown, Maryland)


    The Stuff That Never Happened
    This is a good read with more depth than I had expected. Great use of humor. I especially liked the views of the different generations of women. Definitely a book for women, probably the "over 40" crowd.
  • La Deana R. (Norman, OK)


    the stuff that never happened
    Loved it. Annabelle is the person you sit next to at the ballgames, watching your kids. She is the mom who remembered to bring cupcakes when you are scrambling to get your kids to school at all. And Annabelle is a woman living in a marriage fractured by her own careless, thoughtless and impetuous affair. I found her character believable as she tries to live her life in spite of her betrayal to her husband. I can empathize with her romanticized version of the man she lost 26 years before.

    I waited, spellbound, as she found Jeremiah unexpectedly again and all the repercussions this has on her family once again. This is a true picture of marriage, both good and bad, love in its best and its worst form. I couldn't put it down and would recommend it to anyone (but especially those women of a certain age - like myself - whose past and present don't always seem to line up). Good reading, tell Ms. Dawson to bring us more!
  • Mary Lou M. (N Royalton, OH)


    The Stuff That Never Happened
    I was immediately immersed into the lives of Annabelle & Grant McKay from the very beginning of this novel. Annabelle's transformation from the late 1970's through 2005 was fascinating, but Grant was the biggest surprise.

    The emotions that were held in check, at times, made my heart ache for the characters. The parallels between daughter and mother were interesting to watch unfold.

    I found myself disliking Annabelle at brief moments, wanting to shake some sense into her, but then she would endear herself once again.

    I would highly recommend this book to all of my friends in my Book Club. We range in ages from 30 to 70 and I feel that everyone would love the book, no matter your age.
  • Joan V. (miller place, ny)


    The Stuff That Never Happened
    At first I feared this book would be a trite story about a woman having a mid-life crisis. This book is so well written it rises above that. Annabelle is going through the 'empty nest syndrome' with a husband who shuts her out physically, emotionally, and hardly speaks a word to her. They are total opposites and now they are growing further apart. She feels after 20 years of marriage there is nothing between them and begins to reminisce about her past and a man named Jeremiah.

    The book goes back and forth between the present (’05) and the past (1977-80) when she first meets and marries Grant.

    Jeremiah does not appear until almost half way through the book and it’s easy to see why Annabelle falls in love with him. He is everything her husband is not – handsome, a man who shows his feelings; successful; established in his career, and totally engaged when he is with her.

    The scenes between Annabelle, her mother, and her pregnant daughter, Sophie, are very touching. The book discusses the roles of women and how some things change and some remain the same between the three generations.

    Because you care about these people, you become totally hooked on their lives and want to keep reading to find out what happened in the past and how the problems in the present will be resolved.
  • Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL)


    The Stuff That Never Happens
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Love, lust and adoration are very different things with relationships being built or falling apart based on perceptions, not truth. I am of similar age as present-day Annabelle and know people in relationships like those depicted in the book. I liked the first person narration alternating between the 1970's and the present. Younger readers may not "get" the decisions Annabelle made but those of us who have been around a while know that relationships are ever-evolving.
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