Read what people think about The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Stuff That Never Happened

By Maddie Dawson

The Stuff That Never Happened
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Aug 2010,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 3
There are currently 22 reader reviews for The Stuff That Never Happened
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Carol N. (San Jose, CA) (09/28/10)

The Stuff . . .
I can’t say I loved every minute of Maddie Dawson’s “The Stuff That Never Happened.” At times it made this reviewer step back, much like the author’s middle-aged heroine, Annabelle. I, too, can identify with the longing for yesterday’s romance. This slow moving character drama flits back and forth between the present and the past, answering the questions. ... Will she leave her husband? Will he leave his wife?

I didn’t have an easy time getting into it, until I finished the first 100 or more pages, then I was hooked and needed to know how it would end. Longing for the one that got away is a common theme in literature, but Maddie Dawson writes with a particular honesty that makes her characters very real and convincing.
Marcia S. (Hendersonville, NC) (09/23/10)

Complexity of relationships
With 'The Stuff That Never Happened', Dawson offers a story that should appeal mostly to women of 30 plus but mature young adults could well benefit from the insight that parents did have a life that took place before children came along and they too dealt with ageless issues relationships bring. The marriage of young Annabelle to Grant and how betrayal directed the course of their relationship and future perspectives made for a thought-provoking read. Actions can have far reaching consequences. Should generate good conversations with book clubs.
Dotty G. (Roswell, GA) (09/19/10)

The Stuff That Never Happened
This book is a fun, engaging read. The main character, Annabelle, is witty, complex, and at times, naive. Annabelle's relationships with her mother and daughter add another interesting dimension to the plot. This book should be of particular interest to women like me who grew up during the seventies. Although somewhat predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
Carrie D-L. (Albany, NY) (09/17/10)

A thoughtful, but uneven, look at a modern marriage
"The Stuff That Never Happened" starts off well. I adored the first chapter; it was smart, funny and a good introduction to the character. Then the novel begins flipping back and forth between 2005, when Anabelle and Grant's marriage is floundering with their children now grown, and 1977, when they met. Initially, this alternation helps build suspense and provide an interesting take on the characters. As the novel progresses, however, it starts to fall flat because it becomes more obvious what must happen. The characters begin to fall flat as suspense evaporates.

There are strengths to this novel. Dawson writes conversation quite well, and it is a fast read. I imagine fans of women's fiction will enjoy this thoughtful, but uneven, take on a modern marriage.
Mary P. (Bellingham, WA) (09/17/10)

The stuff that never happened
Maddie Dawson's "The Stuff that Never Happened" is first and foremost, an enjoyable read. The author can turn a phrase and encapsulate feelings in few words, often humorously. Because it is written in first person, and definitely from a woman's point of view, I think the audience will probably be limited to women--especially those who have tried to understand "love" in some of its permutations. And if the reader has been in a similar situation, the novel speaks with even more empathy.
Tricia L. (Auburn, WA) (09/15/10)

Well-written, but we've seen this before
This is one of the better books about choices and waking up to find ourselves in a position we now are not sure we want to be in. I love the author's writing and the voice is strongly compelling. I don't tend to want to read yet another book about this subject, but this one kept me reading.
Rosario D. (South El Monte, CA) (09/15/10)

Interestingly Real
A great look at how the choices we make today will affect the outcome of tomorrow. I loved reading this book. I found it easy to connect with Annabelle and found that many of her emotions have mirrored mine in the past year. A Great Read.
Ariel F. (Madison, WI) (09/14/10)

The Stuff That Never Happened
I had a hard time getting into the novel. The book went back and forth between the present and the past, from the time Annabelle met her husband and then married him etc.

I found the relationships between Annabelle, her mother and her daughter interesting. These relationships touched on the dimensions of relationships that women have over the years and how some things change and some things remain the same.

I feel that it takes a mature person to understand the decisions that Annabelle made and why she might have made them.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

More Information


Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...
  • Book Jacket: Complicit
    by Stephanie Kuehn
    When seventeen year-old Jamie Henry receives word that his older sister Cate, is being released from...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  153The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Who Said...

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O O T F P, Into T F

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.