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The Year Marjorie Moore Learned to Live

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Maybe you know a Marjorie Moore; maybe you are one. She’s dauntless, desperate and a little bit delusional. Yet her insatiable desires and misguided antics shed light on our own search for escapes—and search for self—and perhaps that is why we cheer her on wholeheartedly.

Marjorie Moore always wants more—and as a result, often feels she ends up with less. Forever searching
Paperback, 220 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Heliotrope Books
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James Charlesworth
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The title character of Christie Grotheim’s debut novel THE YEAR MARJORIE MOORE LEARNED TO LIVE is a perpetual seeker, a devotee of modern life’s distracting obsessions—she’s also in the midst of a mid-life crisis that is threatening to rob her of her job, her children, and her husband. Taking place mostly over the course of one year, this tightly plotted novel delves deep in Marjorie’s mind as she conceives and justifies the plans that lead her from compulsive shopping sprees to selling prescrip ...more
Andrea Rothman
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to receive an advanced copy of this novel, which I read with great interest, thrilled to discover this utterly engaging and original new voice. Grotheim’s debut novel is a page turner in every sense. The writing is highly sophisticated and effortless to read, and the story hooked me from beginning to end. Marjorie Moore is one of those unforgettable characters in fiction that simply stays with you long after you’ve put the book down—A modern Madame Bovary living in a small suburban t ...more
Felicia Grossman
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to say, I adored this book. There were moments it frightened me and hit a little close to home regarding the way it explores shifts in life and malaise and the faux-competitive nature of social media, but everything was done so well and so kindly and gently, and in a way I think we all need, that I appreciated it so much.

Marjorie is an amazing protagonist. I loved that she is flawed and that the flaws she has are often the most harshly judged because we associate them with suburban women.
Karen Dukess
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charmingly, and sometimes absurdly, self-delusional, Marjorie Moore is one of those train wrecks that you can't help liking, because she means so well and has enough baggage to weigh down even the most determined optimist. Written with compelling detail, her journey from occasional to dependent pill-popping and nearly benign drug peddling among her stressed out suburban Mom acquaintances is fascinating and all-too real. You know she's going down, but you also hope that this woman with such drive ...more
Julie Williams
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be a very entertaining read and loved peering into the life of the quirky Marjorie Moore. She is a bit of a train wreck and quite unlike any person I've known; at moments, it felt almost painful to read of her superficialities, self-deprecating habits, and self-absorbed state of oblivion; however, she is also warm and relatable, and you end up loving her - insecurities and all. The author has a clever humor and brilliant sense of imagery that make the character and story come to ...more
Veronica Qureshi
This book is a wonderful way to pique the imagination. There's an interesting and slow unfolding of a dysfunctional character who finds herself through introspection. What makes it special is the way the story is told. Through its transporter-pod-like imagery, the details of each moment emerge. Marjorie is quite the character worth getting to know as she can probably teach you a thing or two! I found this book to be quite entertaining and filled with dark humour that grabs you at every turn. Mar ...more
Southern  Roots
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read it! Most of us know a Marjorie. Most of us have a bit of Marjorie in us.
Dawn Hosmer
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. There were moments it hit a little close to home regarding the way it explores how easy it is to become complacent in life and fail to realize all of the blessings we have right in front of us. I appreciated how the author tackled such a heavy subject with care and with absolutely relatable characters.

Marjorie is an amazing, flawed protagonist but her flaws are treated with compassion and understanding (which makes it so powerful). I loved that she was able to grow, change,
Marco Rafalà
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Christie Grotheim's debut novel is a piercing portrait of the reality of living with anxiety and panic disorders—and the hard truths about self-medication. Instead of turning to her family and friends for support, the well-meaning Marjorie Moore tries to cope with her anxiety on her own. She finds temporary relief in pharmaceuticals, shopping sprees, and an online flirtation with an old friend, until the bad choices brought on by her addiction and mounting credit card debt catch up with her. An ...more
Jill Woodward
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I took this book (advance copy) on vacation with me, and kept getting pulled into it. I was not even able to save more than a few pages for the flight home. The main character, Marjorie Moore, is basically the antithesis of everything I've always wanted for myself. Yet the skill of the author's writing made me feel more than a cringe - I routed for her, I laughed with her, and I eventually stopped judging her. Grotheim's talent is in fostering empathy & understanding through humor, even while ta ...more
Katherine Riley
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book. This woman. She sticks to us. She's our shadow self. She's the woman down the street who wrecked her marriage. She's the mother in our child’s class who appears totally uncaring. She's an addict. She's self-absorbed, unlikeable, she's all those adjectives we can force onto her, to look down on her. She's a warning. And Grotheim is so completely unremitting in the quest to expose and uncover her that we are forced, finally, to see her from the inside, to see ourselves as part of her, t ...more
Lisa Kohn
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The Year Marjorie Moore Learned to Live" is a book that can teach us all how to live and remind us that what we experience is, in many ways, up to us. While taking us on a laugh-out-loud fun but cringe-worthy ride of a life about to implode, Grotheim brings us to a point of our own decision about what we value. Check it out!”
—Lisa Kohn, author of To The Moon And Back: A Childhood Under the Influence
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A hilarious and thought-provoking novel about a woman who gets herself into some serious sh*t. Marjorie takes us on a whirlwind adventure of the mind and heart, through the desolate landscape of Prairie Mound, TX. She's looking for more—Moore—and loses track of herself as she tries to find it.
The book is super funny and impossible to put down—Grotheim's unique voice stuck with me long after finishing the book.
Lauren Gershell
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this debut novel which I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of! Like two of my favorite books, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Where'd You Go Bernadette, it takes us through the inner mind of a delusional and flawed woman who both frustrated and charmed me. The Year Marjorie Moore Learned to Live is engrossing and entertaining with a poignant and emotional undercurrent and I most definitely recommend it. ...more
Andrea Bartz
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While biting tales of midlife crises are nothing new, Grotheim's debut is a cut above the rest: Marjorie is intelligent and self-aware, and her self-destructive tendencies occasionally made me cringe, they also felt relatable, understandable, and totally believable (no cheap shots or outlandish twists here). I also loved the musical writing and quick, almost breezy pacing. I'm recommending this to everyone looking for a fun, redemptive, juicy summer read. ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! Margie drew me in quickly, and i worried so about all her escalating mistakes! I think a lot of women can identify with some part of sweet included! A good read...hated to see it end!
Sam Coley
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious! I ripped right through it, reading almost nonstop
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So fun! I am greatly enjoying this laughably relatable and keenly written cautionary tale! Can hardly wait to see where Marjorie ends up!
William Bredderman
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There came a point I could not put the book down. I consumed Margie’s life with my jaw dropped and my eyes popping at her numerous mis-adventures. Here was a full-fledged adult – a mother, wife, friend, employee – twisting her life into crisis mode to fulfill base desires. Grotheim perfectly paints Margie’s inner life, made her such a believable character that while I watched Margie’s actions in disbelief, I never for once doubted her.

Some of the best fiction are ones that read like non-fiction
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Margie’s mid-life existential crisis captures so many of life’s dichotomies: masks v. authenticity, fear-of-missing-out v. fear of losing what we have, sex v. intimacy, adventure v. stability, recklessness v. boredom. Grotheim’s writing had me guffawing out loud at times at Margie’s witty internal monologue, wholeheartedly rooting for her wanderlust, then in the next breath feeling compelled to grab Margie by the shoulders and say, “Nooooo! Wait! Stop! That’s a terrible idea! Abort the mission!” ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you have ever gotten bored with your life and used social media to fuel your escapist fantasies, you will connect with Marjorie Moore. Grotheim's realization of this complex woman leads the reader through Marjorie's most desperate desires (and her sometimes dangerous methods of fulfilling them) with a concerned but friendly understanding. Through her heart and well-timed wit, Grotheim shapes Marjorie, her life, and her relationships, admirably resisting what might otherwise be a trite caution ...more
Kim Masson
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book on a recent flight overseas and wow did the hours breeze by! Grotheim's lyrical writing takes readers on a wild ride through the Texas heat to meet Majorie Moore, an endearing character we love in spite of her deep flaws. From popping one too many pills to ringing up credit card debit, Majorie wants a perfect life that doesn’t exist. It takes almost losing it all for Marjorie to discover the universe has better plans than she could ever find on Pinterest. In Grotheim’s deft hand ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Although Maggie Moore is a dysfunctional mess because of drugs and debt she is very sympathetic. You root for her to get her life in order as things keep going awry. Ms. Grotheim is a fantastic writer. Her prose is very visual and character development is wonderful. There are many themes in the book and you are left with a lot to think about...learning to live in the moment, what makes an honest marriage and a good family life and searching to find your true self. Yet this is ...more
Corie Woodard
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I was able to read an advanced reader copy. Marjorie Moore is so frustrating and yet endearing! Regardless of the bad decisions she continues to make, I can't help rooting for her throughout the book! Grotheim captures the cyclical fights that can quickly explode in marriage, as well as so many quirky things that make us human. I saw myself and my husband in her life-like characters as we navigate this busy life of marriage, parenting, working, etc. I highly recommend this boo ...more
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading the book a second time was just as pleasurable as the first. Christie Grotheim captures Marjorie’s character perfectly - her day to day life, her hilarious inner musings, and her gradual descent and evolution. This book is a success, and not just because of Grotheim’s engaging writing. The journey of Marjorie Moore carries a universal message that reminds us to wake up to our lives; to love and relish in life, all the small moments as well as the big ones.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was able to get an advanced reader copy of The Year Marjorie Moore Learned to Live and I give it 5 stars! Marjorie was a character that I first disliked due to her self-indulgent nature. However, as the story progressed, I found myself rooting for her and eager to find out how she ended up. This is a great story and reinforces, in this age of more is better and instant gratification, what is truly important in life.
Amanda Miller
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic read. Marjorie Moore is a wonderfully fleshed out character with a rich inner life. Her delusions, fantasies and means of escape are realistic and relatable, simultaneously hilarious and poignant. Her realization that we can find happiness amidst the awkwardness, boredom and pain of daily living really resonated, as did her revelation that we should not take our loved ones for granted.
Jmitchellhome Mitchell
I'm clearly in the minority but, honestly, I am surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reviews of this book. I had a hard time finishing it and strongly disliked the self-destructive main character (and not simply because I could not relate to her). While not unsympathetic to her plight, I struggled with the deluge of uncomfortable and cringeworthy situations and bad decisions. I felt empathy for her husband and kids. Without spoilers (but the title helps), the overall theme saved the book. ...more
Natalie Murray
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A stunner of a novel! Author Christie Grotheim has shone a hard spotlight on those who, at times, gaze over the horizon instead of looking right ahead. A wonderfully written novel about anxiety, drug abuse, lust and redemption through the eyes of a flawed yet endearing central character, this is enjoyably confronting reading with a worthy payoff. Highly recommend!
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Christie Grotheim is a New York-based writer whose stories have been featured in Salon, The New York Observer, and Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood. Grotheim studied creative writing at the New School and the 92nd Street Y, where Marjorie Moore was conceived—and birthed a few years later as her debut novel. She lives in Harlem with her husband and her dachshund and is hard at work on her second novel.

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