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Gravity Is The Thing

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  4,922 ratings  ·  962 reviews
Abigail Sorensen has spent her life trying to unwrap the events of 1990.

It was the year she started receiving random chapters from a self-help book called The Guidebook in the post.

It was also the year Robert, her brother, disappeared on the eve of her sixteenth birthday.

She believes the absurdity of The Guidebook and the mystery of her brother's disappearance must be conn
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Macmillan Australia
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,922 ratings  ·  962 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
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


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
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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  ·  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
Anna Spargo-Ryan
I loved every single thing about this and am bereft at its being over.
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
Veronica ⭐️
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
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
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 03, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2022, aww2021
Gravity Is the Thing was an enjoyable, whimsical read, with a touch of romance and some solid underlying themes about how we can choose to live authentic lives. It was my first read of a book by Jaclyn Moriarty, though I have previously read and enjoyed fiction written by two of her similarly talented sisters.

The book follows a dual-timeline narrative structure, exploring the life of central protagonist, lawyer-turned-café proprietor Abigail Sorensen, in the present and in several flash-back vig
Theresa Smith
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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  ·  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. ...more
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
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jonathan K (Plot & Characters Matter)
DNF... Written like a grammar school child, I found it underwhelming in all respects and not worth going beyond the first 10 chapters.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, fiction
We are introduced to Abigail Sorensen in 2010. She is a single mother of four year-old Oscar, owner of The Happiness Cafe and resident of Sydney, Australia. Life is not a thing to be taken too seriously by Abi.

Abi has a lot on her plate and one day she receives an invitation to an all-expenses-paid trip to an island to finally learn the “truth” about The Guidebook and its author. As a result of the trip, Abi spends the next year in a support group peeling away the layers of her life.

The Guideboo
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 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.
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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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