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The Stuff That Never Happened: A Novel Paperback – August 2, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Nicely written...enjoyable prose and keen characterization."
“Both tender and exquisite, Maddie Dawson’s triumphant debut, The Stuff That Never Happened, is a pitch-perfect look into the choices we made in our past and the consequences that they carry long into the future. I loved every page.”
—Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of The One That I Want
"The Stuff That Never Happened is unlike a lot of novels I read - I was never quite sure what was going to happen, and in that way, I found it compelling and compulsive to read. Often when I'm halfway through a book, I'm fairly certain of the characters' paths. This time, the lives encountered were surprising, illuminating, and always believable."
—Susan Straight, author of A Million Nightingales
“What a joy it is to discover Maddie Dawson. In the best storytelling tradition of writers like Elizabeth Berg and Anne Tyler, Dawson delivers a fast-paced, unflinching, often hilarious novel about the challenges of love, parenthood, and staying true to yourself in a marriage.”
—Holly Robinson, author of The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir
“'I can admit that I went there hungry for the drama of him, that I craved that heightened sense of loving and being loved again,' Maddie Dawson's middleaged heroine confesses. In trying to make sense of one married woman's relationship to her old flame, The Stuff That Never Happened is a paean to family happiness as much as romance.”
—Stewart O'Nan, author of Songs for the Missing
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Just so happens that one of the things that I liked the best about this story is also the thing that I liked the least about this story. Strange, I know. This is the thing: There isn't really a big plot, no real suspense, no climax, and no big surprises. By reading the back of the book you know that Annabell McKay has to choose between two men: her husband and a man from her past. In a nutshell, that is the story. It sounds like typical chicklit, and I'm typically not a big fan of that genre, but this was much better than most of the other books I've read in this category. M. Dawson definitely has a talent for making normal and flawed characters become extraordinarily interesting.
4 1/2 SOLID STARS
But there is so much more to this story. Annabelle has been married for many years and her children have flown the nest. Now it's just her and her husband in the house. And her husband is very involved in writing a book, so he has very little time for anything but his writing. Suddenly Annabelle is called to New York City to stay with her daughter who is pregnant and having difficulties with the pregnancy. Annabelle sees this as a time to not only help her daughter, but reflect on her marriage. I was treated to stories of the present and the past, back when Annabelle first met Grant, back in the 1970s.
I loved this story. The characters were so fully developed, I felt I knew them. I don't remember any other book that had me practically talking out loud to Annabelle, giving her unsolicited advice and chiding her for things she did say and things she didn't say. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in a long term relationship, anyone who has felt somewhat dissatisfied and wondered if it was all worth it. This is a story well told with characters that seem real, as if they were your next door neighbors.
How better of a recommendation do you need? I'm buying this book twice!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked this book so much that I had to look and see what else Maddie Dawson has written. Her style of writing just drew me in and although I generally only read before bed, this... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Laurie Ann
I thought The Stuff That Never Happened was one of the best books I've read this year. Several threads run through the book that will speak to most women ~ especially 40 and... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Nancy Fraser Carrier
I loved everything about this book. Annabelle is a highly relatable character who speaks to many 50 plus readers. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book came into my life at the perfect time (when I needed some introspection). The main character struggles as I suspect many women do - and she eventually comes to a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by HSG
To say this story is a simple one is a huge understatement. The characters and story line reveal a depth I never expected. Well worth the time it took to get into the book!Published 1 month ago by M_Noel
This book has a bit of a plot twist that happens and that makes it a little fun in the middle, but overall this book is pretty boring. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Q
Brilliantly written. What a treat to read a book so well crafted. The story was so real. I have to laugh at the reviews that find this book slow. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. Laurel Brookes
A very interesting story of a marriage that seemed true-to-life and believable. Great title! Good character studies. I would recommend it to anyone who is or has been married.Published 1 month ago by Marti Lythgoe