Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty
On the eve of Abigail’s sixteenth birthday two things happened – her brother disappeared and she received the first instalment of a self-help book called The Guidebook in the mail. Now thirty-five years old, Abigail has been receiving random chapters from The Guidebook ever since that fateful day, and she still has no idea what happened to her brother, but somehow she thinks these two things must be connected. So when she is invited to learn the truth behind The Guidebook at an all-expenses-paid retreat run by a man called Wilbur, she jumps at the chance to solve at least one mystery. But what she discovers isn’t what she expected, but it does set her on a journey that will be life-affirming and unexpected.
Gravity if the Thing is a novel about a woman discovering herself, and forgiving herself for perceived mistakes. It’s a novel of loss and grief, and finally healing and hope. In the course of the novel, we discover that not only is Abigail still grieving over her brother and wondering if he is dead or alive, she is also grieving the loss of her husband after an affair. The retreat to discover the truth behind The Guidebook sets her on a path of reading other self-help guides – which is very amusing and some of the people join Wilbur for ‘Flight Class’ on Tuesday nights afterward, including Abagail.
This is a wonderful novel! I loved it. It’s warm and laugh-out-loud funny in places, but it is also wise and poignant and heartbreaking in other places. It’s beautiful and imaginative, with just the right blend of the real and the slightly ridiculous. Jaclyn Moriarty is a fantastically talented writer, and I can’t wait to read more of her books. Gravity is the Thing is an impressive, thought-provoking and ultimately life-affirming novel. (And without doing any spoilers, I’m pleased to say that you do find out what happened to Abagail’s brother at the end.)
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
Macmillan, RRP $37.99