Kevin's Reviews > Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story

Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies
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's review
May 31, 09

Read in May, 2009

Although the librarian who signed out this book for me called the writing abominable and the treatment voyeuristic, I found the memoir very compelling and honest. I didn't expect great writing, but what I found was perfectly adequate. I expected to find some factual errors about Oberlin, but the few I found were inconsequential.

What I didn't expect was the clarity of feelings and the sense of hopelessness that engulfed Isabel when it became apparent that Josiah was not going to change his mind. That she carried on, muddled through, and did her best is a testament to her courage and perseverance.

I could almost see why Josiah gave up on the marriage. Her jealousy could be wearying. But since it was also clear that he had fallen in love with Sylvia, it was obvious that Isabel was NOT paranoid. Do I blame Sylvia for breaking up their marriage. Sure. But she obviously fell for Josiah like all his women fell for him. So in the end I blame Josiah (or his upbringing). It's too bad that Isabel fell so hard for him at first. She should have waited at least a year or two (it wasn't really clear how long) before marrying him.

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