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A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story Hardcover – August 2, 2011

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A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story + Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story + Split: A Memoir of  Divorce
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With the same self-effacing prose found in her debut, Gillies describes her journey from the pain of lost love to the land of the living with humor and compassion ... Readers who enjoyed the author's earlier memoir--and books like it--will find her saga engrossing and heartfelt ... Readers will cheer along with the author, whose heart overflows in the conclusion of this enduring story of life after love."―Kirkus Reviews

"Isabel Gillies gives us a story of unexpected romance, unfolding the story of her journey from divorce heartbreak and single motherhood to new love and family with genuine intimacy and humor."―Julie Metz, author of the New York Times bestseller

"So charmed, so enamored was I by this tale of love lost and found that I would have sat down to lavish it with praise the minute I put the book down, but I was weeping too hard. We all want to believe in second chances, in broken hearts mended, and at its core, this is a book about that kind of hope. Brava."―Deborah Copaken Kogan, author of Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War and Hell Is Other Parents: And Other Tales of Maternal Combustion

About the Author

Isabel Gillies is the author of Happens Every Day: An All-Too True Story. She graduated from New York University with a BFA in film and is also known for her television role as Detective Stabler's wife on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and for her cinematic debut in the film Metropolitan. She lives in Manhattan with her second husband, her two sons, and her stepdaughter.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401341624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401341626
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Isabel Gillies, known for her television role as Detective Stabler's wife on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and for her cinematic debut in the film Metropolitan, graduated from New York University with a BFA in film. She lives in Manhattan with her second husband, her two sons, and her stepdaughter.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Julia Foster on September 24, 2011
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
I read both of Gillies' books back to back this weekend. Her voice rings with honesty and she seems to have engaged in serious self-examination. In this, her sequel, she describes how she finds confidence and joy again after being dumped by her husband of six years for a younger colleague. The affair, the other woman, and her narcissistic husband were all so very cliche, but the way Gillies chose to rebuild a life for herself and her two little boys was inspiring. I was somewhat awed by her attitude toward her ex- husband and his wifetress. She claims they are all friends now for the sake of the children. If that is true, she must be a saint.

The description of her young son a having a meltdown at the end of his father's visit was devastating. He tries to put his parent's hands together and begs his father not to leave. Gillies graciously writes how much this must have crushed her husband, but I could conjure up no sympathy for a man who could act so selfishly and with utter disregard for his family.

I do wish she would have gone into more detail about the difficulties of allowing the other woman into the lives of her children. I imagine that it would be heartbreaking to see her sons bond with the woman who aided and abetted her husband in the destruction of their intact home. I realize she did not have a real choice in the matter since her husband chose to marry his mistress, but I think it would be helpful for other betrayed wives going through similar situations to learn how she accomplished this monumental task.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alla S. VINE VOICE on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"A year and six seconds" by Isabel Gillies, follows her life as her husband Josiah leaves her, and she is forced to move from their house in Ohio to live with her parents in their rent-controlled apartment in New York. To complicate matters, Isabel is forced to settle her two toddler sons into their new New York home, adjust to her ex-husband's betrayal, and attempt to make a new life for herself (get a new state driver's license, open a bank account, find a job, etc.) in spite of all the obstacles.

Gillies is probably best known for her role in "Law and order." Although I am not an avid watcher of the show, I became interested in her memoir after reading a blurb about her story. This is definitely not a weepy-divorce type of book. Rather, it an optimistic account of overcoming the pain and discomfort of divorce--only to end up on the sunny side of life.

I found the writing candid, humorous, and down to earth. The memoir itself is very reminiscent of a diary, as Gillies reflects upon intimate issues. At one point, she even confesses to feeling unwanted--her ex-husband loves another woman, her mother is tired of seeing the constant ruckus in her apartment that comes from Isabel and her two children, her friends try to unsuccessfully match her up with potential suitors, and life in New York is giving her a hard time. It's the kind of memoir that is both interesting and highly relatable.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Ledger on September 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was okay.. she can write well . I loved her first book, it was brilliant. I couldn't put it down. This book held my interest but wasn't a page turner. I am glad she moved on with her life, and she writes with honesty, and passion and courage. I am left wondering, did she really fall in love with the current husband, or did she just convince herself that she was.. she so desperately wants to be married. to have the house, the perfect family, the white picket fence... and while I know nobody wants to be alone, it's scary out there, esp. with young children, not convinced...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By lilycoton on January 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wasn't at all impressed with Gillies's first book, and I thought the writing was nails-scraping-on-the-blackboard irritating. Thus I wrote a review, awarding her one star along with a lot of unfavorable remarks about her book (It Happens Every Day).

Now I've read the sequel, and I gotta say: Boy, was it better than the first one! In fact, I almost have to wonder whether it was edited by someone. But never mind, I don't want or need to know. I enjoyed it very much and wound up admiring Isabel a very great deal.

As to Josiah: What kind of juvenile, self-indulgent guy is that? Sorry, Isabel, I know you don't want me to speak badly of Josiah, and I can understand. But why couldn't you - and the children - have remained in your beloved home in Oberlin? Why didn't he just move in with Sylvia and leave you where you were? You can hear that I've been through divorce myself, right?

It's a lovely book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When your husband of six years and the father of your two young sons suddenly announces that he no longer wants you--that he is moving on to a more satisfying relationship--what do you do? You have a number of options, but one of the most cathartic is to write a memoir. Isabel Gillies did just that with "Happens Every Day" in 2009. She continues her story of heartbreak, personal growth, and rebirth in "A Year and Six Seconds."

Gillies believes that a person can fall in love instantly, although "happily-ever-after" is never guaranteed. She says, "I got to the married part and through the babies part, then we divorced." When her husband, whom she calls Josiah (not his real name), fell in love with a fellow professor in Oberlin, Isabel packed up their two young sons, Wallace and James, left Ohio, and moved back in with her parents in New York City. She valiantly tried to hold it together for the sake of the kids. Nevertheless, it took a while for her to get used to the new normal.

"A Year and Six Seconds" is a candid, funny, and insightful look at relationships between parents and grown children, parents and young children, married couples, and divorced couples. The witty and edgy Gillies, a professional actress, gives much deserved kudos to her mom and dad, who welcomed her back with open arms. Their support, as well as the loving attention of her close friends, made what had to have been an extremely difficult time a bit less daunting. She is fortunate that money was never a insurmountable problem; she did not have to worry about paying rent or putting food on the table. Gillies would be the first to admit that women without her resources might not be able to bounce back so quickly.
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