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Gravity Is the Thing

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  845 ratings  ·  231 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
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Harper (first published March 26th 2019)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  845 ratings  ·  231 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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019
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

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
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Theresa Smith
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
Anna Spargo-Ryan
I loved every single thing about this and am bereft at its being over.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
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.
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Megan Maurice
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Karyn Silverman
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook, 2019-reads, arcs
What a lovely, strange book, full of pain and hope and meditations on grief and self and parenthood and being a woman. Also humor, sly observational humor grounded in such a sharp sense of the world.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love!!

Funny, quirky, introspective, touching, and sooo different from the books I usually read. I have a new favorite author to add to my list. Time to fly!!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Shirley Bateman
Quite endearing but the endless waffley inner dialogue got in the way of the narrative. I got about half way through and then skipped to near the end. Don’t think I missed much.
Bonnye Reed
You can not be blue, can't be depressed while reading this special novel, set in Sidney, Australia and peopled with folks you would love to know. Abigail is a special sister, a supportive daughter, a good wife, and an indulgent mom. When the cards fall against her, she antis up and deals again. Self-pity is not on her agenda, though we of lesser internal fortitude would submit to it. I enjoyed the way the Guidebooks lead us through the world as Abi knows it, and help her find diversity and chall ...more
Not quite what I expected, and it did take me a while to warm up to the story. If I was being impatient I would probably have DNFed it at 50%. However, I eventually fell into the story and surprisingly became vested in the characters.
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel sad only being able to give this book 5 stars out of 5. It deserves at least 9 just for the words the author chose. It was like she had a story to tell, and scooped up handfuls of the story from the dirt, but every single grain in her hands was a beautiful, sparkly gem. Embarrassingly I looked up many of those beautiful word gems in the dictionary, although each new meaning gave me joy. Who knew there were so many specific and descriptive words in the English language? I would dearly like ...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.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-2019
What would you do if the person that you love the most simply disappears? Would you think about him for 20 years and look for him until one day…
Abby is 16 and her brother Robert is missing, she doesn’t know if she can carry on with her life, right after his disappearance, she starts to receive pages of “The Guidebook ”a comforting voice through her family’s grief over her brother’s disappearance, a move across continents, the devastating dissolution of her marriage, and the new beginning as a si
I want to do this review right. I want to capture all of the joy and wit and humor and heartbreak in this novel. I want to share the layers of plot and narrative that compel you to read the story. And I want to revel in the dozens of underlined quotations and scribblings in my copy as I wonder at how Jaclyn Moriarty managed to capture my life – OUR lives – with its fragments of memory and philosophical musings and moments of parental and relational frustration.

But you probably don’t have that m
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 STARS.

When I started this book, I though, 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 wee
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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.
“The first birthday is the key to identity.” 0 likes
“Trying to force Seneca’s approach: believe the worst and you will be prepared when it takes place; by believing the worst, he actually thought he was earning a happy surprise.” 0 likes
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