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A Year and Six Seconds: A Memoir of Stumbling from Heartbreak to Happiness

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  770 ratings  ·  100 reviews
"A Year and Six Seconds" is the true story of "New York Times"-bestselling memoirist Gillies's vibrant yet bumbling efforts to pick herself up after her husband leaves her for another woman--and then of how she stumbles upon true love.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.36  · 
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 ·  770 ratings  ·  100 reviews


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Dawn Michelle
I read Isabel Gillies' first book "Happens Every Day" in 2010; just months before my whole world [like hers in that book] was turned upside down when my then husband, out of the clear blue, walked away from me and my marriage. I know that those first few months after it happened, I thought back to that book and how much grace and willingness to make the abnormal Isabel showed [even amidst the tantrums and anger and crying] to her ex throughout the process and strived to do the same thing [and I ...more
Anna Louise
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
When the story opens, it's a dark and slushy winter in New York City, where Isabel is arriving by airplane from Ohio, two toddlers in tow, to move in with her parents; her husband has left her for another woman. In subsequent scene after hilarious scene, Isabel shares her valiant, misguided, and bumbling attempts to understand her own part in the disintegration of her marriage and to feel strong and loveable. And, one by one, she begins to cross items off a staggering single mom to-do list that ...more
Peebee
Jan 11, 2012 rated it liked it
OK, so Isabel Gillies is incredibly self-absorbed and a drama queen. It's not like I didn't know this from reading her first book. I'm not sure why I put this on my to-read list, because not long after I started, I'm thinking, "oh yeah, I really find her annoying, so why did I want to read about how it all worked out great for her?" That feeling persisted throughout the book.

She acts like she's the first person to have ever suffered heartbreak, or having her husband fall in love with someone el
...more
Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
I went into it with minimal expectations - I'm vaguely familiar with her work as an actor, but a friend invited me to an upcoming booktalk and I figured I should at least thumb through this so I was familiar with her work as an author.

If I'd started reading this earlier in the day, I would have finished it in one setting. I could not put it down. Her writing is so compelling and this is every woman's story- love, loss and children. The premise is, you may know in six seconds if this is The One -
...more
Danielle
May 27, 2011 rated it liked it
I read Gillies first memoir, Happens Every Day, and really enjoyed it so I decided to read this book as well. There's almost no need to read this book if you've read the first one as the first 80% or so is a more detailed description of the last few chapters of Happens Every Day after describing her life in NYC after moving back in with her parents with her two young sons following her divorce. She eventually picks up on some new material with getting back in the dating scene and meeting her sec ...more
Courtney
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I loved her first book and sympathized with her, the devoted wife cast aside for a newer younger French professor. This one was braver because after she moves in with her parents and two young children in NYC one starts to find her...annoying. She's open and honest about what it's like to be dumped, divorced, lonely and raising Two little boys. But it does somehow endear u you to Isabelle like the first memoir does. Still you find yourself relating to her insecurities and the mess of it all. And ...more
Jodi
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Okay -- I can't explain why I loved this so much, but I did. I read her first book and had the same reaction. Parts of it are written with such childlike innocence, I found myself thinking it was cheesy...but maybe that's how it seduces. She pulls you in with her honesty. I found myself thinking I could be friends with this woman (and then remembered she's famous). I read it in one day. If she writes another book, I'm sure the same thing will happen: I'll buy it, begin reading, wince at the chee ...more
Beth
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I listened to the audio version. The author should be lauded for her introspection (which other reviewers have labeled self-absorption) because she was looking within herself to figure out what part she may have played in the dissolution of her marriage. It would have been easier just to say her husband left her for another woman...which he did.
But the author also would have led us to believe that she was among the first divorced women in NYC. In this day and age, divorced single moms are not an
...more
Carlene
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
A candid examination of the breakup of a marriage and life as a single mother. I was engrossed in her story through much of the book but finally began to get weary of her weeping and self absorption. As others have pointed out she was rather fortunate in the circumstances she had to fall back on (sharing an apartment in Manhattan with her parents who were supportive and available for child care, her old acting job back, friends she grew up with nearby, support and monthly visitations with the ch ...more
Alice
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Humble, unassuming, honest, and funny - like listening to a girlfriend
Tammy Dotts
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
When her marriage ends, Isabel Gillies finds herself and her two young sons back in New York, living with her parents. Her memoir, A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story, recounts her struggles to put the pieces of their lives if not back together again, at least together enough to take on a new shape.

Gillies’ voice is that of a close friend, and the memoir reads as if the reader and Gillies were catching up over a cup of coffee. The tone is engaging. Memoirs can often read as if the author is dum
...more
Ann
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
This memoir is a sequel to "Happens Every Day", in which Isabel Gillies described her (first) marriage to a brilliant but difficult literature professor, their life in the hippie college town of Oberlin, Ohio, and the eventual breakdown of her marriage. That book was very touching, because it alternated the joy of finding love, having babies, creating a new life, with the sudden bewilderment of finding out that your husband just doesn't want to be married to you any more (of course there's anoth ...more
Florinda
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Isabel Gillies believes it takes a full six seconds to fall in love. However, one has to be ready and willing to experience those six seconds. After Gillies’ first marriage ended, it took about a year for her to get to that readiness.

Gillies’ 2009 memoir, Happens Every Day, explored her marriage to the father of her two young sons, which abruptly ended with her husband’s announcement that he was leaving her for another woman. This follow-up opens as Gillies brings her children back to her own ch
...more
Donura
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
RATING: 5 out 5


In this follow-up memoir to “It Happens Every Day”, Isabel Gillies, bares her heart and all the raw emotions that came in the aftermath of her separation from her husband who has fallen in love with someone else. She leaves her home, most of her possessions, most of the possessions of her children, and the Midwestern town she has called home.

She is honest with her hurt and pain as she heads back to her parents’ apartment in New York with her two very small little boys. My first th
...more
melanie (lit*chick)
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Having read and enjoyed her first book Happens Every Day, I was curious about the rest of the story. What happened after she packs up her two boys, leaves her cheating college professor husband, and moves in with her parents in New York City? Aside from being a giant mess...how does she navigate this next part? As in her first book, author Gillies does not seem to hold back, even when it portrays her in a poor light.

I am confused about the purpose of this book - is it supposed to be triumphant,
...more
Yvonne
Die Autorin ist eine amerikanische Schauspielerin, die von ihrem Mann verlassen wurde und in diesem Buch nun wieder ihr Glück findet. Es ist die Fortsetzung von "Happens every day" und erzählt, wie die Geschichte weiter geht. Sie findet einen neuen Mann, sie heiraten und starten in ein neues Leben. Der Weg dahin, die Scheidung vom Ex-Mann, das Kennenlernen des neuen Mannes und die damit verbundenen Gefühle, auch in Bezug auf die involvierten Kinder, wird erzählt.

Nachdem ich das erste Buch quasi
...more
A. S.
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“A year and six seconds” by Isabel Gillies, follows her life as her husband Josiah leaves her, and she is forced to move from their house in Ohio to live with her parents in their rent-controlled apartment in New York. To complicate matters, Isabel is forced to settle her two toddler sons into their new New York home, adjust to her ex-husband’s betrayal, and attempt to make a new life for herself (get a new state driver’s license, open a bank account, find a job, etc.) in spite of all the obstac ...more
Susy
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it
This book isn't going to win any awards for brilliant writing but the story develops as though the reader is spending a long weekend with the author and hearing her tell the story of going from despair to to happily ever after. Unlike others who have read this memoir, the author was completely unfamiliar to me because apparently I'm the only person in the world who doesn't watch Law & Order, SVU. Still, every person's experience with the end of a marriage, being tossed aside for another woma ...more
Kelly Hager
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a sequel to her first memoir, Happens Every Day, which details her marriage breaking up. Now Isabel is living with her young sons (a four-year-old and a two-year-old) and her parents in their New York apartment. In this book, Isabel talks about how she starts her life again. It helps to know that the story ends well; a few months after moving back to New York, she meets a man and a year after that meeting, they were married.

Even so, it's hard to read how Isabel has to adjust to being sin
...more
Doreen
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: laura
Recommended to Doreen by: saw it at the library
Circumstances for every divorce are different from each other, and also similar. In this book, Gillies records the year after her divorce, living in NYC with her children, in her parents' home. With humor, and complete honesty, she tells her feelings of failure, her struggle to be a single mom, and the constant panic to somehow make a good life out of this mess. Yes, she has it easier than many single moms.(Her parents take them in, so she doesn't have to worry about financially supporting her l ...more
Felicity
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
I can't remember the rating I gave to her first book or what my reactions were, although I seem to recall being vaguely uncomfortable with her histrionics (even if she was honest in confessing them). Maybe I'm in the mood for a more hopeful book or maybe I've mellowed as I've become older, but this was actually a surprisingly good book. I suppose I wasn't sure if she was just cashing in on the success of the first. Taken together, I think these can be read as stories/memoirs about a woman who re ...more
Sharla
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thoroughly enjoyed Gillies' preceding memoir centering on the discovery and infidelity and subsequent unanticipated demise of her marriage, so it comes as no surprise that I found this follow-up equally appealing. She is again refreshingly honest and open about the myriad of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that can come rushing in during the experiences of navigating a divorce, single parenting, and moving on from a broken heart. It reads as though she is telling us her story over a glass of ...more
Mizloo
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I like happy endings. I also like seeing my feminist values affirmed - for some of us it's career first and then - for some of us - house, home, hubby and kids is where it's at. I was a 60's housework-hater who didn't want my mother's life. Isabel Gillies is a 21st Century mom-at-heart.

I enjoyed reading about her struggle to figure out how to make her own values work for her and her kids. And I liked watching her finally deal with the lack of self-awareness so apparent in her first book. Despit
...more
Cynthia
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 5-star
"A Year and Six Seconds" is Isabel Gillies follow-up memoir to "It Happens Everyday".

I loved "It Happens Everyday", Gillies first memoir about living in OH. Living what she deems to be the perfect life, Gillies' husband announces one day, seemingly out of nowhere, he is no longer interested in being married to her, packs up and leaves, leaving Gillies with their 2 young sons. Gillies soon finds out he has fallen in love with another woman.

"A Year and Six Seconds" goes into what happens when Gi
...more
Yitka
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
While I appreciated her extremely candid, bear-all storytelling, the writing itself felt far less polished than her last book (which I did enjoy). The story itself is a compelling one - essentially a memoir of divorce, moving on, being a single mom, and confronting head on all the insecurities and fears and pains that accompany those experiences - but it read like a long article in Seventeen magazine, rather than a polished book geared at an adult audience. I understand that part of that was the ...more
Claire Chen
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Six months ago, I read the first book of Isabel and her heartbreaking story of a collapsing marriage. Now I finish her second and see how she got through the difficult time and find fall in love again in six seconds. I like her saying "A good love holds everything", and I like Peter who asked, "want me to sit with you and do it together"? That's probably the most romantic words I've ever heard. I'm sorry that they lost the unborn baby, but as she said, a good love can holds the miracle of making ...more
Erika
Dec 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Something about the title enticed me to take it off the library shelf and give it a read. I think I wanted something hopeful about falling in love. She is optimistic and I enjoyed parts of it. It did get repetitive and at times cheesy (which she herself admits.) I just finished it and found the last two chapters worth the whole read. I do appreciate her honesty and courage in showing her own cracks and faults. At times I was angry with her for not blaming her husband more for the divorce, I mean ...more
Mari
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
This is the first time I have read a second memoir from the same author, a part two of sorts. I did think about this before deciding to read this book but I enjoyed Isabel Gillies' first book I(Happens Every Day) so much I wanted to give this one a try.

I didn't enjoy this book as much as her first one but I think I understand why. This memoir focuses on the first year after a separation/divorce, from having to live with parents to rebuilding a life. These are not experiences I have had to endure
...more
Erin
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a netgalley book and the actual release date is August 2011. A Year and Six Seconds is the continuation of Gillies first memoir "Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story." Gillies husband left her for another women. She moves herself and her two young songs back to her parents house in New York City and tries to rebuild her life.

The story was a bit choppy, but overall, I liked it. I liked Gillies message to people going through a divorce to try and make it as amicable as possible and try
...more
Carol
Sep 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
I don't really remember all the details of Isabel Gillies first memoir about her marriage collapsing so I don't have the complaints of some readers that thought there was too much overlap. I thought this was another interesting read - this time about her trying to put her life back together after she moves in with her parent in NYC. Favorite line of the book, "If I don't eat I am so difficult it could easily ruin a marriage." I will be sharing that line with my husband who I think would say that ...more
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Isabel Gillies, a lifelong New Yorker and actress for many years, is the New York Times best selling author of Happens Every Day, A Year and Six Seconds, and Starry Night (FSG), a young adult novel about first love. Her work has been published in Vogue, The New York Times, Real Simple, Cosmopolitan and Saveur. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, kids, and Maude the dog.
“I’m not saying that you will ever be over the breakup of your marriage. Any relationship that started with that six-second love stays with you forever, and that is as it should be. Like everything else in this life, it changes constantly—it subsides, flares, grows distant, comes close, gets smooth—but, make no mistake, it stays.” 1 likes
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