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One Big Beautiful Thing

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  63 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Artist Kate Abernethy is trying to put her life back together after the death of her boyfriend. At first, moving back in with her mother seems like a good way to sort out her finances and re-evaluate her life-instead it proves to be a minefield of doubt and recrimination. Floundering, she pushes herself to take new opportunities so she can rebuild her life and have a secon ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published May 2nd 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Louise Wise
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
They say never judge a book by its cover, well people do, and with this book I'd walk on by. It's dull with a capital D. A pot of paintbrushes on a dirty blue background. Very unappealing.

It doesn't really say anything about the book, either. Maybe the main character is an artist? Even so, I wouldn't care. As for the genre, I couldn't say. It could be a thriller, crime, romance... anything but a horror or an erotic read. Two things I got from it (other than boring) was gentle or religious.

The ti
...more
Maryann
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
The central character in this story is an artist, Kate Abernethy, who is trying to adjust to a new kind of life following the sudden death of her boyfriend. She moves in with her mother and that seems like a good way to sort out her finances and re-evaluate her life, but her mother does not allow Kate to be the adult she truly is. Kate must find her own way through the minefield of grief and figure out how to make a living and provide for herself. She has worked in graphic design, but her heart ...more
Peggy
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Marie for allowing me the opportunity to read and review your book!

Kate’s life seemed to be a roller coaster. Things start to go well and then crashed down around her. From a young age she had to make the best of the lemons that life had doled out. I loved the story! I laughed. I had tears. I got caught up in her raw passion. I could feel her heartache. Most importantly Kate’s experiences were real; she was a hurt little girl trying to make her way through adulthood carrying baggage th
...more
Meg
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the character relationships, and following Kate’s journey as she struggles to find a balance between independence and connection. The relationship between Kate and her mother is perfect. Kate’s being grilled about how she did at a job interview, when she finally snaps.

“Did you wear something decent?”

Frustrated, Kate said, “No, Mom, I dressed like a whore. Was that wrong?”

...

Karen, like all good best friends, also dispenses sage advice.

“Well, just remember all work and no play
...more
Kim Whelan
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written by the former librarian at my kids' school and friend, it is a great read. I love how we gradually learn what makes Kate who she is. It is also a good lesson in realizing how everyone has "baggage" and they keep putting one foot in front of the other. I'm glad Marie's new studio is done so we can expect more good reads.
Thel
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
If the gorgeous cover draws you in, the compelling main character will keep you reading! Great first novel for author Marie Flanigan. Keep writing!
Julie
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moving with surprisingly clever dialogue against a backdrop of loss in the search for happiness.
Sienna Logan (Lost to Books)
For more of my reviews visit http://losttobooks.blogspot.com

Actual Rating 3.5


I thought I'd take a chance on this book as even though the description doesn't really give much away, it was enough to intrigue me into accepting. As well as this the cover didn't really catch my eye and the crucifix made me a little wary as I don't like religious fiction but thankfully this book wasn't full of Catholic beliefs. There were some but I'll get to those in a minute.

One Big Beautiful Thing kept my intere
...more
Tuesday
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
"...and they lived happily ever after." I think that's the line from my childhood reading that made me aware that most of the time in order for me to walk away fulfilled from certain books that it must be included. That line is where I discovered that I love to read books that end well. Its the, I'm going to forget about all the real crap that's happening in my life line that whisks me away to a a make-believe place.

Chick-lit is one of those genres that never changes. Girl with some issues meets
...more
S.M.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realistic
I had mixed feelings about this novel. It started off great. I really enjoyed the main character Kate. The challenges she faced were interesting, and I liked her outlook on things. As the novel begins, Kate is accepting a job to fill in for her mother as the art teacher of a Catholic school. Flanigan does a great job filling out the backstory slowly, adding more depth as the novel progresses.

But at about the halfway point, the novel takes a very strange turn and it feels like it simply ran out
...more
Martine Lillycrop
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Just when Kate's life looks to be perfect, tragedy strikes. The man she loves is torn away in a tragic accident. A year later, still crushed by grief, her life shattered, she moves back to Arlington, where she grew up, in the hope of picking up the pieces and moving on. But moving on is harder than it sounds. Moving on means leaving Robert behind and that's just too painful.

Unfortunately, her heart has other ideas. Despite her best efforts, she's drawn to Aiden. And that's a problem. Because bot
...more
Polly
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Looking for a realistic, yet sweet, romance? This one's definitely worth the read, a perfect book for the beach or a cozy snow day.

Marie Flanigan does a great job of creating characters that step off the page with their own quirks and problems. Kate, an artist who has moved home following a tragedy, struggles to deal with grief and her mother. There's a note of mystery surrounding Kate's previous relationship, which is slowly revealed and helps drive the emotional heart of the story.

Being from
...more
Angie
Synopsis: "Artist Kate Abernethy is trying to put her life back together after the death of her boyfriend. At first, moving back in with her mother seems like a good way to sort out her finances and re-evaluate her life-instead it proves to be a minefield of doubt and recrimination. Floundering, she pushes herself to take new opportunities so she can rebuild her life and have a second chance at happiness."

My Review: It was hard to place this book in a category, it had bits of romance, bits comin
...more
Kathy
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book because the main character, Kate, is complex. She is insecure, yet proud of her self-portraits. She wants a relationship, but is afraid of getting involved. She argues with her mother, but seeks her approval. Kate is believable and her desire for equilibrium is familiar. The reader wants Kate to succeed, but like a good friend, may want to tell her to get her act together. My favorite line from the book - "Buck up, little camper." Flanigan does a nice job of driving this stor ...more
Tonya
I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.

Kate is a young artist struggling to put her life back together after the death of her boyfriend and the loss of her job in New York. The story begins with her living back with her mother and subbing for her Mom's art classes. Gossip surrounds Kate and the parish handyman and tensions arise. The characters are well developed and the story line grabs you in. I loved the descriptions of Kate's art, I could picture them from the details
...more
guiltlessreader
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I started out quite wary because I wasn't quite liking the beginning (what is it with mentioning Starbucks and too much swearing?). But this turned out to be surprisingly good -- when it got to the point when the main character starts dishing on the character of her dead boyfriend and there were some feminist undertones, everything clicked for me! Check out my full review on my blog Guiltless Reading.
Alyssa Pierce
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I'll admit that the title confused me a bit and the crucifix on the cover was a little worrisome (I thought I was about to jump completely unaware into a book filled with lots of overly-religious, preachy elements) but this was a great read. There were no lulls in the story and I found myself struggling to put the book down each night. I thought the characters were well developed and the story moved seamlessly. I will definitely be lookin ...more
Joandier
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. I want to got to a gallery and see her art!
Maggie
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by my friend Marie.....loved the familiar characters and seeing who they might be. Very good read with heart and surprises throughout!
Nancy Meehan
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great beach read -- written by a friend! Good plot and quick moving story!
Lisa Yee
rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2016
Marie Flanigan
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Tneter
rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2013
Jodie Morgan
rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2013
Ellen Courtney
rated it it was ok
Feb 04, 2014
Justine Maria
rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2014
Emanuel Warzel
rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2013
Lisa
rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2013
Jamie Payne
rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2013
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Marie Flanigan grew up all over the Commonwealth of Virginia as the youngest of three girls. Star Wars and comic books dominated her youth. She has a couple of degrees from George Mason University and is a licensed Private Investigator. Over the years, she’s been a disc jockey, a web developer, and a children's librarian. An avid gamer, she reviews video games for GameIndustry.com. After nine car ...more
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