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Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story Paperback – Bargain Price, March 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
John Searles, MSNBC.com
“A memoir so raw you feel like it's your best friend telling you her story.”
“A smart, rueful memoir of love, betrayal and survival.”
O, the Oprah magazine
“You gobble up [Happens Every Day], rooting for the engaging Gillies? A guilty pleasure for readers."
“I couldn't help but admire her bravery in exposing the dark side of her seemingly perfect life in such a good-humored, self-effacing way?. You feel nothing but deepest sympathy.”
Top Customer Reviews
So it was that I saw that Isabel Gillies had written a book "Happens Every Day" about how her husband suddenly left her and their two very young sons, and I was compelled to read it. I'm very glad I did. It's wonderfully told; honest and touching. Gillies doesn't wallow in it, and she offers no excuses. She is honest about herself and all the red flags she missed. She even muses on why people in love miss or ignore red flags and clear warning signs...we all do it. It must have something to do with what love does to the chemistry in our brain. Later, after the boom has been lowered on you, the signs are all there - clear as day - only to make you feel like an even bigger fool.
Gillies paints a detailed cringe-inducing description of how she unwittingly befriended and sponsored the woman who "ran off with" her husband. We readers are uncomfortable while reading these passages because we already know that this woman is going to betray her, and we can't warn her...it's too late.Read more ›
As an academic myself, I find it easy to despise the faux-French "other woman." For once she lands Gilles' husband, she becomes a spousal hire at Oberlin and does not have to search for another job. She avoids having to settle for teaching four sections of freshman composition a semester at a third tier university. In my experience, that alone for any fledgling professor is enough to break up a marriage. Now she can concentrate on some drab 18th century research that few outside academia will ever read. The only problem is she is married to a man who clearly has a fear of commitment;he left his pregnant first wife and left his second wife with two very small children for other women. So in one way she is like Sylvia Plath who was married to the poet Ted Hughes, the womanizer who was/is despised by millions, mostly academic women. Unlike Plath, she is like the many women who go after married men, who do not respect women enough to stay away. She may rationalize it as fate, finding her soul mate, something obscurely French about joy, life, love-- but the truth be told, she went after another woman's husband and took him, and even when Gilles begged her to stop, she did not.
For him: he is an average poet and scholar who is at a college with no graduate students. He is married to a woman with a cloying French accent who grew up in Vermont of all places. This may ultimately be a nightmare for a Harvard Phd.Read more ›
Although worthy of many pages, I've decided a multiple page review won't work.
Critics I think are missing the point. Isabel would probably agree with you that she was too "this," or too "that," and she shouldn't have been such a doormat. (Perhaps her ex-husband can use that line in his next poetry class.) This book was all about the bare honest truth, and how much she loves her family.
I am from Isabel's tribe. Episcopalian. Summer place in New England. People in my family say "humdinger." My father used to rake leaves, even though he could have paid someone to do it. Readers have no idea, given the WASP value for privacy and fabricating cool exteriors, how much writing this book must have cost Isabel.
From Isabel's view of the world, it should be enough to work hard, make commitments and keep them, trust the people close to you, love, tell the truth, and do your best. I happen to agree with her, and I admire her for her for this and what she is willing to pay to try and make it so.
A powerful example is when Isabel gets on her knees in the snow in front of the woman taking her family, and begs her to stop. Isabel's values don't allow for the existence of someone so utterly heartless as to put her own needs before those of a young woman, her family, her children, and her marriage. Surely if this other woman understood what is going on, she would back away.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I NEVER READ BOOKS TWICE....BUT I DID THIS ONE!
Isabel Gillies captures her feelings so perfectly.... Read more
As the title says: It happens every day. Families break up, get reconfigured and the earth keeps turning. Painful, hopeful. We pick up the pieces and , with our wound, move on.Published 13 months ago by willow
Extremely well written true story of the disintegration of the marriage of a young couple with two children (3 years and 18 months). Read morePublished 15 months ago by C. Brock
Started out a bit disjointed, but quickly drew me in. Unique, exquisitely personal take on a marriage breaking up. It may "happen every day," but never to you...Published 19 months ago by Patricia B. Ware
The writing isn't great; just mediocre. However, the story is very interesting and somewhat makes up for the juvenile writing style and repetitive word choices.Published 22 months ago by Maria J. Fahlsing