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?
©2016 Abagail Katherine Wittnebert (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
"Warm and hopeful, this marvelous debut stands next to novels from Catherine McKenzie and Carolyn Parkhurst." (Booklist)
My mother passed away in May of 2016. She left behind my dad and her only child, me, her daughter. Since her death I have tried to find meaning and a greater understanding of loss and grief. I've actively sought help with a grief counselor and I am learning how to practice self care and compassion instead of guilt or blame. Grief is a journey and it is full of beautiful and painful lessons and truths. I am learning to honor and embrace that.
So, this book finding its way into my life feels very poignant. It mirrors so much of my experience, it's haunting. And it is beautiful. Listening to it was a lovely experience and heart-breakingly cathartic. Ms.Fabiaschi's writing is wonderfully human and this captures the experience of grief, so precisely. And the narrators voices, told her story with care.
Thank you, Ms. Fabiaschi for writing this amazing book. Thank you to The Universe and maybe my mom (?) for guiding me to it.
I loved this book so much! The author has you engaged from the first page and it is brilliantly written. It is on the top of my list of recommended books for my family and friends. After finishing it over a week ago, the characters are still with me. 👍
Kept me intrigued
Toss up between Eve and Maddie
Maddie because she sounded so wise and wonderful.
This book kept me guessing until the very end. It was sad, funny and deeply emotional. A great read for any wife and mother who feels unappreciated by her husband and kids.
It's that "meh" time of year in the northeast and I thought the last thing I would want to read about was depression and suicide. I am glad that I put my concerns aside though, because I really loved this book. I don't say that lightly. As a college English major, I have done my fair share of heavy duty reading. Now that I am well past my graduation, I still love to read, but need a book to grab me in addition to teaching me something. I want to be intrigued, curious- staying up too late to press on. This book has it all. Well written, thoughtful, casually meaningful without being overbearing. Can't wait to see what comes next for this very talented author.
Don't let the suicide thing keep you from reading this book. I think it will be especially meaningful to women who understand the struggles of feeling undervalued by your family. A very powerful and emotional book, and the readers did a great job. Looking forward to her next novel.
I've been searching for a good character driven story for a few weeks now, and decided listen to 'I Liked My Life' after reading some other reviews and it's blurb. I went in sceptical. Not sure if it would keep my interest since I tend to get bored easily and cannot force myself to finish something I don't like.
I was extremely pleased with both the narration and story. Characters and events were real and grounded, not over the top with drama. Conversations flowed naturally and felt right.
The spiritual aspect was enjoyable without being heavy-handed.
One of the things I dislike most in any book is a lack of follow through. You know, how sometimes the story just ends and you have to assume things worked out. I can't stand that, but no worries here. If you are like me and you want to see how things play out in the end then this is probably a safe bet for your next audiobook.
Thank you for a great book and an enjoyable listen.
There are great lessons in this book - but they apply most to families of tweens or teens. Speaking from experience, I can say that this group ("cohort" in demographic terms) is the most entitled in history. And the kids' demands on their mothers carries special weight because moms are so afraid their kids will get lost in the darker sides of social media, i.e., bullying, showing off, obsessing over trivia, snapping and chatting their way into anonymous areas of misbehavior.
This book shows that even the best of kids need to realize how precious their moms are and how precious their relationships are. It introduces the concept of the Golden Rule. But most of all, it speaks to being grateful - each and every day - for life and living.
I know this sounds like I'm a Polyanna, but in general, I'm not. This book struck such a deep chord because the themes are dead-on real in today's middle class (broad term, I know) homes.
At first, I didn't want to continue reading since suicide is such a totally downer of a topic. But after the first couple of hours, I became absorbed. The narration is great. The language is really lovely. And the characterizations are magnificent.
When I first looked at the summary, I recoiled visibly when I read the word "suicide." I moved on, looking through other titles, but my thoughts kept going back to this one. I'm glad I listened- this book is true, sweet, maddening, and funny - I absolutely love it.
Reading with no hands!
It's clear from the poignant reminiscences that Madeleine Starling liked her life. While she ascends after her abrupt death, we watch as she, her husband Brady and daughter Eve alternately grapple with the aftermath. Each, in turn, struggles to understand why and how they can go on.
Maddy is of course practical in her effort to comfort her family and connect them with the right woman who can offer tailored salve for them each. Brady intermittently struggles with anger and responsibility as he navigates their shared life solo. Eve favors withdrawal as her tether has been taken away.
Slowly, inexorably the story unfolds and we see how everything in life provides a lesson if we permit it. "It all happens for a reason." Various slivers of past life merge with present challenges to propel them towards healing and each other. The family fabric, damaged by tragedy, is patched with community service, calculus tutoring, marathon training, therapy, a trip to Paris and insights from the journal of Maddy-the wife and mother.
As they experience real reasons to love, be compassionate and forgive, we understand that all "we need is to learn to learn from our pain." A universal lesson which can be personally absorbed by every type of reader is offered in I Liked My Life.
I didn't want this book to end. It is so insightful and poignant. It makes you think, and makes you realize how precious life is and how it can change in an instant. I can't say enough about this book. Worth the credit
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