I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi– 272 pages
Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths. Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge…but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?
My Review: 4 stars
I Liked My Life took was a powerful look at marriage, the things we would do differently if we could and the love of family. On my popular Tell Me What You’re Reading Tuesday thread on Facebook, this book had been recommended numerous times. It’s not my usual genre, but I took their advice and dug in. I’m so glad I did.
Although I thought it was going to be a Chick Lit story about piecing life together after a death, it definitely felt more like influential Women’s Fiction. There were nuggets of wisdom peppered throughout the novel regarding parenting and marriage that were fabulous. I’m sure every person who is either married or a parent or both, found many relatable situations.
The theme that things aren’t always as they appear was revealed in many scenarios throughout the novel. It’s something we all learn as we age and garner wisdom so it was interesting so see it digested by a teenager. No one, not a soul, lives without imperfections and hidden failures. This message is an important one and again, is shown not told in the novel. That’s hard to do so kudos to this debut author.
I suggested this book on my Mother’s Day 2017 list because it explores mother/daughter relationships through several characters. For the main protagonist, she understands her mother so much more after she becomes a mother herself. Additionally, anyone who has a lost a mom will appreciate this book as well. Don’t let the death scare you off; it’s still a heartwarming read.
Quotes I liked:
We’re given the gift of life with the consequence of death. I think it’d be a mistake to focus on the consequence instead of the gift.”
-“Everything will be okay in the end. If it isn’t okay, it isn’t the end.”
-“When the world gives you a hard time, pic up a book and join another.”
-“Loving a person doesn’t make them who you desire; it makes you vulnerable to their reality.”
– “I never did point out that any chance the gesture had of being romantic was lost when he asked whether he had to do it.”
-“Suicide really is the ultimate fuck you.”
-“Giving advice to someone in mourning is like offering pretzels to someone dehydrated. It doesn’t help.”
-“He’s so freaking competitive. I guess you never grow out of wanting approval.”
-“Practice love, compassion and forgiveness. Anger is nothing but an anchor that keeps you from moving forward.”