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I Liked My Life: A Novel Hardcover – January 31, 2017
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"A heartbreaking and ultimately heartwarming read about life, death, and family." ―PopSugar, A Best Winter 2017 Book
“First-time novelist Abby Fabiaschi unwinds a tale wholly compelling, altogether believable and, at times, so heartbreaking it’s hard to believe she isn’t already an established author. ...an impossible-to-put-down and impressive debut.” ―Associated Press
“Readers will be enveloped by the emotional impact of Fabiaschi’s writing. Warm and hopeful, this marvelous debut stands next to novels from Catherine McKenzie and Carolyn Parkhurst in taking the reader on the emotional rides that define marriage and family.” ―Booklist (starred)
“Debut author Fabiaschi’s even tone and her characters’ bright intelligence inspire empathy... [and] explore the main theme: tragedy often has no reason, and those experiencing it must contend with the reasonlessness as well as the loss.... An earnest effort from a natural storyteller.” ―Kirkus
“An absolutely stunning book! I Liked My Life is a layered tale with meaningful things to say about life, death, grief and moving forward after tragedy…remarkable.” ―RT Reviews
“Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, this hard-to-put-down, engrossing debut will have readers wondering until the very end. It examines life and death, despair and faith, parenthood and marriage, the choices we make, and, most of all, love―making it a perfect choice for book clubs.” ―Library Journal (starred)
"I Liked My Life nonetheless is an affirmation of love and the ability to survive grief and find joy again. Book clubs in particular will take delight in the wealth of emotion to ponder from this talented new voice.” ―Shelf Awareness
“Abby Fabiaschi’s irresistible voice drew me in from the start. I Liked My Life is the smart, good-hearted story of a family’s loss and healing that pushed me to think as often as it made me smile.” ―Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters
“Abby Fabiaschi’s provocative new novel I Liked My Life has so much of everything that you will ache for and fear for the main character―but never forget her.” ―Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
“I Liked My Life is as absorbing as it is illuminating, and as witty as it is heartbreaking. A truly un-put-down-able read.” ―Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of Flight Patterns
“So vivid, gripping, and flat-out spectacular that I actually dreamt about this novel the night after I read it. It’s that good. If you’re looking for a book to fall in love with, a book that will make you think and cry and feel hopeful, please pick up this one.” ―Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of Me and The Perfect Neighbors
“Once I started, I couldn't stop turning pages. A novel about mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, life and death, guilt and forgiveness all bonded together in love that defies the grave: family. Abby Fabiaschi skillfully balances humor and heartache. An irresistible read.” ―Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker’s Children
“An utterly satisfying, beautifully written, absolutely unforgettable debut novel that will make you laugh, cry, and remember to hug those you love.” ―Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting and The Life Intended
“What happens when a woman who seemingly had it all ends her life? A reeling husband and daughter are left to pick up the pieces in this emotion-packed novel that keeps you guessing until the final, satisfying chapter. In her debut, Fabiaschi masterfully avoids overwrought sentimentality, digging to the heart of what matters in life, love and death.” ―Colleen Oakley, author of the Indie Next bestseller Before I Go
“Abby Fabiaschi’s debut novel, I Liked My Life, is a rich, multi-layered story about family and the enormous power of love. A compelling read that challenges what we know about ourselves and the people who love us.” ―National bestselling author Mia King
“Fans of Liane Moriarty will fall in love with this unpredictable tale!” ―Robin O’Bryant, New York Times bestselling author of Ketchup is a Vegetable
About the Author
ABBY FABIASCHI is a human rights advocate and co-founder of Empower Her Network, a nonprofit that paves a path for survivors of human trafficking with a will for independence. In 2012 Abby resigned from her executive post in high tech to pursue a career in writing. I LIKED MY LIFE is her first novel. She and her family divide their time between West Hartford, Connecticut, and Park City, Utah. Learn more at www.abbyfabiaschi.com and www.empowerhernetwork.org.
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The story is told from the voice of Maddy, the mother after her death, and then, the other people in the family, trying to adapt to her suicide. As the plot progresses, the reader understands that the mother had no real reason to kill herself. In fact, about halfway through the novel, I suspected it to be an accident, and the author’s purposefully omitting the circumstances of the mother’s death became a bit annoying but other than this, I was very much impressed with the characterization in general.
What was so impressive was the reaction of the daughter, Eve, and the husband, Brady, as they questioned their own earlier actions with guilt and grieved in their own ways, infusing the story with their loss and misery. Eve especially felt close to me as if I knew her. This alone shows the author’s understanding of human behavior.
The insightful examination of this family’s relationships and their efforts to adjust makes this book a must-read for those who like to read about families, marriage, and children.
In short, I loved this book, and I still recall some of Eve's touching words, such as "I have quietly stopped being me".
Maddy was a perfect wife, a perfect mother, a perfect hostess and friend. She seemed completely content and happy. So why would she commit suicide? She has left her 17 year old daughter and her husband reeling in the aftermath of her death, wondering what part they might have played in driving her to something so unthinkable?
One of my favorite aspects of the story is that although Maddy is dead, her voice isn't silenced. She is in the "afterlife" still watching and influencing her family members, by putting thoughts in their heads, making them start humming songs. One of her first jobs is to find a new wife for her husband, Brady.
The story is ultimately more about relationships and grieving and rebuilding and healing than it is about the plot points.
About the characters: I really didn't care for the teenage daughter, Eve--she was difficult for me to like. I also didn't care much for the husband, Brady. I couldn't really muster up much compassion for him. Maddy was pretty great, but unbelievable. She was just too perfect. Too perfect in every way. I did like Rory quite a bit. And I really liked the end of the story.
I was fortunate enough to go to a book event for this book. I got to hear the author talk about the story and the book, to read from it, and hear about the inside scoop of how many different parts of the book came to be. Abby, the author is a fun, charming, real down to earth person. I really enjoyed listening to her.
I recommend this book to primarily women, also husbands, and also teenage daughters.