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

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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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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I read "Happens Every Day" twice. Just finished reading "A Year and Six Seconds." The second book is not as entertaining without the suspense thread of "the other woman" in the first book. But the second is more telling about herself. Isabel Gillies is honest, funny and especially courageous when at the very end of this book, she lists the characteristics and qualities about herself that may have accounted for the failure of her first marriage, and aspects she fears about herself that might jeopardize her second.

Truth be known, Gillies sees herself as a difficult and histrionic woman, insecure and prone to acting out on her insecurity when she's hypoglycemic, cold or feeling threatened by her deep sense of fear about being able to make it in her life. I especially thought the listing of "mothers" being a cause of her insecurity and feeling "unlovable" was sensitive and courageous to point out, as though there were a mysterious gene being passed down from generation to generation that foretold or forbade them from having children who would feel whole and loved, especially if they happened to be dyslexic at the same time.

So, there seem to be deeper strains and themes to what's been going on in her life, in her mother's life and in the way things may turn out in this hopeful, "happily ever after" memoir. I wish her the best because I think we all suffer from some or many imperfections of personality, emotional stability and relationship related foibles. At least Isabel Gillies has what matters most: which is self-honesty and the courage to own up to her own weaknesses. That's what they call character and integrity. Kudos to her for that! She's also lucky to have understanding and loving parents. I wish her well and I hope she's happy for a long time.
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