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Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Happens Every Day An All-Too-True Story - Audio CD - Unabridged Author:Isabel Gillies Isabel Gillies had a wonderful life -- a handsome, intelligent, loving husband; two glorious toddlers; a beautiful house; the time and place to express all her ebullience and affection and optimism. Suddenly, that life was over. Her husband, Josiah, announced that he was leaving her and their two young sons. — When Josiah took a teaching job at a... more » Midwestern college, Isabel and their sons moved with him from New York City to Ohio, where Isabel taught acting, threw herself into the college community, and delighted in the less-scheduled lives of toddlers raised away from the city. But within a few months, the marriage was over. The life Isabel had made crumbled. "Happens every day," said a friend.
Far from a self-pitying diatribe, Happens Every Day reads like an intimate conversation between friends. Gillies has written a candid story about love, marriage, family, heartbreak, and the unexpected turns of a life. On the one hand, reading this book is like watching a train wreck. On the other hand, as Gillies herself says, it is about trying to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness, and loving your life even if it has slipped away.
Isabel Gillies's memoir plods as she narrates the events surrounding the collapse of her marriage. As if she's side-stepping the central drama, she relates details about her family, his family, their meeting, and their house renovation and move. As an actress, Gillies certainly knows the importance of theatrical elements, and there are flashes of emotion that help listeners feel her frustration as she adjusts to her husband's changed affections and figures out how to care for her two young sons alone. Is she escaping sadness with the neutral tone of her writing and narration, or representing the ordinariness in her situation? At the end of the book there's one sentence that refers to a happy ending. Has she left out part of her story, or is she setting us up for a sequel? -- AudioFile
This book was like going to lunch with a bold and honest friend who does not mince words and does not keep secrets. She simply tells an all-too-true story of something that really does happen every day, and she captured that sick, crazy, desperate, sucker-punched feeling most of us women can relate to when this kind of thing happens. She not only told the story gracefully, but she also handled the situation gracefully, and I really respect her. At first I didn't think I'd like this book, but after a few chapters, I was sucked in till the end.
I first saw "Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story" by Isabel Gillies at Starbucks and considering the fact that I've loved every "Starbucks book" I ever picked up, this one went on my to-read list as well.
For the fans of Law & Order: SVU - Isabel Gillies had a recurring role on the show playing Kathy Stabler. While at a wedding, Gillies reconnects with her childhood friend Josiah (I believe that's a pseudonym), and the two initiate a relationship and eventually get married. Moving around to accommodate Josiah's job as a college professor, the couple eventually winds up in Oberlin, Ohio with their two young boys. Worlds away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, Gillies nevertheless builds a life for herself and her family in the quiet town. They buy and renovate a house, make friends, and Gillies even begins teaching acting at the college. All of a sudden, Josiah announces that he's leaving Isabel and their two sons, and that he just "can't do it" anymore.
Gillies is desperate to save her marriage, but Josiah has checked out with no desire to work on their relationship. No amount of tears, pleading, and inquiries from friends and family can change his mind. Gillies suspects that Josiah is involved with his colleague Sylvia, but often ignores her intuition when both Josiah and Sylvia insist that they are just friends. In perhaps the most heart-wrenching bit of the story, Josiah makes Gillies apologize to the other woman for insinuating that they are having an affair. What a way to displace his own guilt!
Reading "Happens Every Day" was like sneaking a peak at someone's diary; Gillies left out nothing in describing the nitty gritty details of her marriage and subsequent divorce. The result is a heart-wrenching story that made me want to reach out and tell Gillies, "Oh no! Don't do that!", only to realize that I'd probably do the same thing given the situation. In the end though, Gillies' story is one of survival, hope, and happy endings.
Ellen H. (eeeee) reviewed Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on
Helpful Score: 2
This was an interesting and well-written memoir. Gillies has a really approachable, informal tone that makes her easy to relate to despite her super-WASPy background. Interesting insights into small college town. The one thing that I found jarring was the abrupt ending of the narrative, followed by a note about her current relationship with some of the principal people in the memoir. I guess that in the four years since the events in the book she's had time to move on, but it's kind of a leap to make in a few pages.
Before her 2009 divorce memoir, Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story, became a New York Times bestseller, Isabel Gillies was a semi-famous film and television actress best known for her role on television's Law and Order. Now, she is the author of three books (two memoirs, one novel) and on her way to becoming best known as a semi-famous bestselling author.
Despite her fame, fortune and beauty, Gillies was not immune to cold-hearted rejection. When her husband unequivocally announced he wanted out of their marriage, Gillies' life became less "law and order" and more "woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown." However, all her self-pity, insecurity and stalker-like instincts read like fiction... It made for an honest and captivating memoir.
I enjoyed this audiobook so much that I listened to it twice. The author wrote a very compelling, heartfelt true story. What happened to her could happen to anyone. I would love to hear a part two, as there is no doubt her former husband will do the same thing to Sylvia as he did to her -- and his first wife.