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Gravity Is the Thing

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  3,946 ratings  ·  851 reviews
The adult debut from bestselling, award-winning young adult author Jaclyn Moriarty—a frequently hilarious, brilliantly observed novel—that follows a single mother’s heartfelt search for greater truths about the universe, her family and herself.

Twenty years ago, Abigail Sorenson’s brother Robert went missing one day before her sixteenth birthday, never to be seen again. Tha
ebook, 416 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Harper (first published March 26th 2019)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  3,946 ratings  ·  851 reviews

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Kylie D
A wonderful, heartwarming book, yet heartbreaking at the same time. Abigail, a single mum to five year old Oliver, has had some tragic times in her life. First her brother disappeared when she was a teenager, then she broke up with her husband, "the love of her life" and gone through her parents divorce. During all these times she's been receiving mysterious help through chapters of 'The Guidebook', a self help manual she started receiving about the time her brother disappeared. Now, twenty year ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was absolutely delightful. I frequently wondered how much of the author was invested in Abigail, her main character. Surely to be able to write a person whose brain runs around in circles one would have to be a little that way oneself!

Personally I would love to meet Abi. She was intelligent, funny, caring and original. Someone very special. Her story was alternately funny and sad and sometimes heartbreaking. I admit to tears especially the scene in the hospital when the man
There is such a feeling of lightness and sense of joy in this book that it's impossible not to feel uplifted by it. Moriarty's writing style is light and breezy, funny but also heartbreaking at the same time, and the characters are wholly original. It felt like such a unusual premise for a novel, that a random selection of young people have been selected to receive regular mailings of chapters of a self-help guide for twenty years, but somehow it works.

Abi Sorensen received her letter asking if


So much love for this. SO MUCH.

When I was younger, I discovered Finding Cassie Crazy. I didn't even realise it was a second book in a series. I just fell instantly in love. It was so witty and light and fun but it had real talk, too, and made you think long and hard about important things.

I loved this for all the same reasons and more. It was so incredibly relevant, despite featuring a single mum. I normally feel distanced from stories told by mothers but not so with this
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Abigail Sorenson, 35 years old, mother of Oscar, former lawyer and now the owner of The Happiness Cafe which only serves food that releases serotonins. My kind of cafe. She gets an invitation to an all expenses paid retreat on an island in the Bass Strait where she will learn the truth about chapters of a self help guide books she has been receiving since she was 15. Free holiday? Yes please. So off she pops. There she meets a disparate group of people including Niall who sh ...more

The thing is this novel enthralled and surprised me in unexpected ways.

Gravity Is The Thing (love the title) is about many things, beautifully pulled together in this first adult novel from Jaclyn Moriarty.

Abigail Sorensen began receiving the "Guidebook" twenty years prior, the year her fifteen-year-old brother, Robert, disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again.

Abi's now a thirty-six-year-old single mother of a boy and the part-owner of the Happiness Cafe in Sydney.
Her life revolves
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 STARS.

When I started this book, I thought, Wow, I’m really going to love this book.....
But then, it petered off for me:(

We meet Abi, who has been receiving “The Guidebook” in the mail for 20 years. In fact, she started receiving them the day her brother, Robert, disappeared. Each month she received a new chapter for her to ponder and do activities. She has been invited to a retreat, all expenses paid, by the son, Wilbur, of the originators of “The Guidebook” From there, she joins Wilbur’s we
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ew
4+ stars

What a lovely, lovely novel!

Well, I need to back up. The first 10% seemed completely hokey, but then the story shifts and the beginning made sense and I fell in love with this novel and its narrator and I gobbled it up. The story is told by Abi, who at 37 is a single mother with more than her share of sadness in her past. But since she was 16 years old, she had been receiving unsolicited chapters of a quirky self help book in the mail. Now, she is called to attend a reunion of all the ot
Veronica ⭐️
Abigail is a single mum trying to get on with her life and recognise her desire for love whilst bringing up her child, as best she can. Always doubting herself. Everyone she had loved had left her.

Abi’s mind was always running around in circles and it always came back to Robert’s disappearance.

The mystery of Robert’s disappearance compelled me on until I discovered the relevance of the Guidebook and then this became another part of the story I was intrigu
Anna Spargo-Ryan
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved every single thing about this and am bereft at its being over.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly don’t even know how to begin talking about this book. I have so many thoughts about it, totally disjointed, and the idea of structuring them into something readable is daunting. I was unsure of this book at first, but after a while I was falling more in love with it with every passing chapter.

From the beginning, you as a reader can honestly not tell where this book is heading. Not at all. After a mysterious letter leads a group of seemingly unconnected people to a retreat, where a sel
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gravity Is The Thing has a unique premise at its core. The guidebook seems to me the only aspect that differentiates this story from others with the same situations. It's unique but not enough that I loved it. It's a slow start, and I never got much into the story. I could not connect with this story or the characters. It's kind of blah, and I wouldn't read it again. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
“Life! Honestly! It’s just a series of rebukes from the universe for judgmental thoughts.”

“My impressionistic glances might be more like impressionistic, long, unnerving stares.”

Much of Jaclyn Moriarty’s novel, “Gravity Is The Thing”, is full of impressionistic glances. Moriarty’s main character, Abi, even informs the reader that she’s using the technique that she picked up in a creative writing workshop. It works well in this quirky and at times zany novel.

Yet within the humor lies human heart
Theresa Smith
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aww2019
What an unexpected joy this novel turned out to be. I went into it fairly blind as to the plot and not at all familiar with the writing of Jaclyn Moriarty. But there were plenty of cover quotes telling me how astonishing, extraordinary, beautiful, uplifting, unique and wonderful that this novel was. And it really was. All of that and more. It’s heartbreakingly honest and beautifully life-affirming. I loved it so much that it’s become one of my favourite reads ever. Yes, ever. That’s how much I l ...more
Victoria Zieger
I’m not sure if I’m missing something with this or what, but I didn’t care for this book. It honestly didn’t make a lot of sense to me by the end. It was so disjointed, at times boring and very strangely written. I really wanted to like it, but the more I pushed through, the more I found myself disliking it.
Jeanette Lewis
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Abigail and Robert siblings of free thinking parents who seem to be like many parents of today who have no boundaries for their children. As a teacher friend explained no discipline in the household makes for a difficult classroom, children already centred only on themselves. As is Abigail, which is obvious throughout the book. The disappearance of her teenage brother remains unresolved, the parent's marriage is shattered and Abigail understandably mentally imagines seeing him from all possible ...more
It sounded promising, but in the end was not my cup of tea. I enjoyed the more conventional aspects of the story, and even thought the idea of having a self-help book anchoring the story worked quite well. What let it down for me was the secret. Get rid of that, tone down the whimsy, and there you have a good book.
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't list things I am grateful for in life but if I did, 'the whimsical prose of Jaclyn Moriarty' would be one of them. ...more
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
What an achingly beautiful story. So much truth about love, loss, and everyday life. Push through some of the oddness of the plot and reach in to discover the real truth--that we need each other through the mundane, the exciting, the mysterious, the difficulties, and the joy. Many, many tears were shed while reading this novel, especially in the last chapters.
This book is both surprising, and yet so comfortable. There's a central mystery (that does indeed get solved, for those of you wh
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
With one adult fiction book and eight young adult titles to her name, Jaclyn Moriarty has released her latest contemporary fiction novel, Gravity is the Thing, to great critical acclaim. With a front cover endorsement from Marian Keyes, declaring Gravity is the Thing as, ‘Astonishing wonderful’, my interest was definitely tweaked. I enjoyed this book from cover to cover.

Gravity is the Thing relays the tale of Abigail Sorensen, a woman who suffered from a lif
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’d say the quirkiest book read this year
Well I say book but its more like a friends ramblings or thoughts shooting out left, right and centre and all revolves around Abigail
Abigail has been randomly receiving letters and quips and advice from a kinda self help couple for years, suddenly there is to be a meeting of all the people who have been receiving these letters
And the reason behind it
Which is totally bizarre
I really fell for Abigail in all her zany weirdness and hilarity and trust me
Megan Maurice
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Honestly I would pay to read Jaclyn Moriarty’s shopping lists. She is such a beautiful, insightful writer and I love reading her work. This book was no exception. The story was so captivating, the mysterious Guidebook, the missing brother, Abi’s son and ex-husband. There was so much to be unravelled and it all came together in such an interesting, heartbreaking way.

One thing that really struck me was how well she captured the reality of having a four year old. Every conversation between Abi and
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Abi Sorenson began receiving random chapters of The Guidebook, a self help manual, when she was sixteen. It was a pivotal time for her as her beloved brother Robert had disappeared the day before her birthday, leaving a deep void in her life. At times the The Guidebook seemed ridiculous, other times offering insight into the pain and uncertainty she was experiencing.
Now twenty years later, Abi is a single mom making a go of her Happiness Cafe, and raising her young son. When she is offered an a
Jonathan K
May 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF... Written like a grammar school child, I found it underwhelming in all respects and not worth going beyond the first 10 chapters.
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you Netgalley for the advanced digital cooy of Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty in return for my honest review.

Gravity is the Thing has a very intriguing premise, but one that was lost in its execution. For years, Abi has mysteriously received in the mail chapters from The Guidebook, lessons and activities to navigate life. Abi relied on The Guidebook to uncover the mystery of her sixteen year old brother’s disappearance, convinced that he would return and that there was a connectio
Neelam Babul
I had expected this to be a terrific story but unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The first half of the story was good and I liked the premise of the story, a single mother who owns her own cafe and brings up her four-year-old son on her own. Throughout her teenage years, she was receiving subscriptions from The Guidebook, a self-help service of sorts guiding her on various ways she could improve her life and The Guidebook served as a way of dealing with the disappearance of h ...more
Kristina Abretti
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read it in a day and a half, so maybe it’s because I was able to immerse myself in it, but I found this so beautiful. I thought it was both heartbreaking and uplifting - I laughed out loud but also cried. I found some of the guidebook / sessions a bit boring, but everything else made up for it. I loved Abi, Oscar, and Wilbur so much. Maybe even if you don’t believe in something, it can still be meaningful in the end - even if it never takes on the meaning you thought it would. 4 stars
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Perfect. Funny, quirky, weird, happy, sad. The kind of book that you finish with tears in your eyes in the middle of an airport and you don’t even care because it was just that good.
3.5 stars
If you like quirky, loner-female-main-characters novels like Where'd You Go, Bernadette or Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine or The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, this is the book for you.
I keep telling myself I do not like those types of books, and yet here I am, reading them all.
Gravity Is the Thing did not initially impress me. Only my love of Jaclyn Moriarty kept me going. It starts off with an interesting enough premise--20 years ago, at age 16, Abigail Sorenson started receiving c
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe how much I enjoyed this book.

In the beginning, I'll admit that the writing style threw me off a little bit. It was very ramble-y and as I listened to this on Audible instead of reading it, it definitely bothered me at some points. It consisted of the kind of rambles that I needed to rewind the audio and really concentrate to get what she was saying. That said, when used to it, the narrator's voice was actually quite funny, relatable and so compelling. It was kind of like listeni
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Jaclyn Moriarty is an Australian writer of young adult literature.

She studied English at the University of Sydney, and law at Yale University and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD.

She is the younger sister of Liane Moriarty. She was previously married to Canadian writer Colin McAdam, and has a son, Charlie. She currently lives in Sydney.

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“Men speak in absolutes, women in uncertainties, and this often strikes us as a weakness in women, but it’s knowledge: a knowledge that we cannot know, not ever.” 3 likes
“Popular self-help teaches you to ask for help, accept help, set boundaries, say no. So you ask for help and the person you ask politely refuses. Because he or she has learned to set boundaries and say no.” 1 likes
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