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Gravity Is the Thing: Book summary and reviews of Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

Gravity Is the Thing

by Jaclyn Moriarty

Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty X
Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty
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About this book

Book Summary

The adult debut from bestselling, award-winning young adult author Jaclyn Moriarty - a frequently hilarious, brilliantly observed novel - that follows a single mother's heartfelt search for greater truths about the universe, her family and herself.

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 of a self-help manual, the Guidebook, whose anonymous author promised to make her life soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams.

The Guidebook's 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 an all-expenses paid weekend retreat to learn "the truth" about the Guidebook. It's an opportunity too intriguing to refuse. If Everything is Connected, then surely the twin mysteries of the Guidebook and a missing brother must be linked?

What follows is completely the opposite of what Abi expected––but it will lead her on a journey of discovery that will change her life––and enchant readers. Gravity Is the Thing is a smart, unusual, wickedly funny novel about the search for happiness that will break your heart into a million pieces and put it back together, bigger and better than before.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Quirky and beguiling, this witty quest for the truth will delight anyone mending their own broken life." - Kirkus Reviews

"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, author of Station Eleven

"Gravity is the Thing is one of the most magical, different, interesting, likable, lovable, beautiful, sad, lovely, immensely uplifting books I have ever read. I read it in an agony of loving it but also being so humbled by the fact that if I lived to be 7,022 years old I would never be able to write a book as good as this. You will adore it—it's an instant classic." - Marian Keyes

"Jaclyn Moriarty has given readers a tender and exhilarating tale of what becomes possible when you dare to believe in the impossible. Gravity is the Thing brims with mystery and enchantment on every page. This book will leave readers breathless and aching for more." - Meghan MacLean Weir, author of The Book of Essie

This information about Gravity Is the Thing was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Jodie Matthews

A book on happiness
I won a copy of Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty, through readers first after leaving a first impression review.

Fundamentally, this is a book on happiness. Gravity is a life affirming read for anyone who’s ever desperately flicked through The Secret, tried to align their chakras, or failed at making a mood board. Abi is a woman who lives by mainly blaming herself. She’s not present enough in her child’s life, she’s too needy for her husband, too eager with boyfriends, and too blunt with her brother. She told him his joke was rubbish, and then he disappeared.
The only consistency she feels she has is the Guidebook - anonymous chapters of a self help guide that have been sent to her for years. She’s sent an invitation to a retreat, to finally find out ‘the truth’. From there we follow Abigail (she doesn’t like Abi, she thinks that sounds drunk) and her new mismatched bunch of friends as they learn to let go.
Gravity is also a novel about parenting. Abigail’s relationship with her son is told through witty, realistic scenes that perfectly illustrate (or so I imagine) parenthood to be - especially the relationship you have when you’re a single parent.
This novel is a testament to Jacyln’s writing. Her prose is sharp yet dream-like, and she embodies Abi’s character completely. I laughed allowed so many times, frequently wishing my inner monologue was half as funny. Some sections read like poetry, and I highlighted pages by folding down corners (sacrilege) whenever a line punched me in the gut.
Example - ‘Maybe, by a certain age, we have all encountered some impossible loss, or at least the accumulation of small sufferings.’ What’s most impressive, out of all of these things, is that Jaclyn has managed to weave so many different elements into this book (perhaps why it’s 400 something pages), and as a result, reading it feels like a journey. It must’ve been an undertaking to write, I feel like I’ve lived a year with Abi in real life, so in-depth is the knowledge I have of her history. . .

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Author Information

Jaclyn Moriarty Author Biography

Photo credit: Michael McCabe

Jaclyn Moriarty is the bestselling author of novels for young adults including Feeling Sorry for Celia, The Year of Secret Assignments, and the Colours of Madeleine trilogy. She published her first novel for adults in 2019: Gravity is the Thing.

She has been the recipient of the NSW Premier's Literary Award, the Queensland Literary Award, and the Aurealis Award for Fantasy. Jaclyn grew up in Sydney, lived in England, the United States, and Canada, and now lives in Sydney again. She is very fond of chocolate, blueberries, ice-skating and sleep.

Link to Jaclyn Moriarty's Website

Other books by Jaclyn Moriarty at BookBrowse
  • Feeling Sorry For Celia jacket
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