Amy Gray's Reviews > Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story

Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies
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's review
Feb 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: memoir
Read in February, 2012

Wow. I read this straight through and stayed up until the wee hours because I couldn't put it down. The reader knows the basic plot (guy abruptly leaves wife and two small children for woman he barely knows) going in, but still, it's a shock to read how it all played out. The whole thing was even more interesting to me because we live not too far from Oberlin, and I recognized many of the locations in the book: the Sears in Elyria where Gillies' ex-husband shopped for appliances is the same one where we bought our stove, we've been to the metropark mentioned (although I think she may have misspelled Carlisle as Carlyle), and I'm pretty sure the Trader Joe's is the one in Crocker Park/Westlake. Because I was so fascinated by the woman who Josiah (actually Oberlin professor DeSales Harrison) left his family for (Laura Baudot), I tried looking her up online (really, I can't have been the first) to put a face to a name----the only photo I could locate was in an Oberlin newsletter from the spring of 2006, where she is standing directly behind Harrison and next to an Asian woman who I'm guessing is probably Secca from the book, with an Asian man (Ward?) in the front row. Maybe I'm reading into it, but Secca and Laura look like they are giggling over some kind of shared secret or inside joke, and knowing what Laura did to that family and knowing how Secca kept it from Isabel, I just want to knock their silly little heads together.

I realize that marriages fall apart every day, but the abruptness of the ending of this one is jarring, especially considering that Harrison barely knew the woman he left his family for, that The Other Woman was also married, and that Gillies had followed Harrison to Ohio, putting on hold her acting career. The fact that he had left his first wife while she was pregnant (!) for another woman yes, should have been a giant red flag, but I can't fault Gillies for Harrison's serious relationship issues.

It looks like Gillies has written a second book, this one about meeting and falling in love with her second husband. Good for her.
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04/18/2016 marked as: read

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message 1: by Donnie (new)

Donnie Marsh My god you live right by me. I'm in Lakewood!

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