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Publisher's Summary

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?

Β©2016 Abagail Katherine Wittnebert (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Warm and hopeful, this marvelous debut stands next to novels from Catherine McKenzie and Carolyn Parkhurst." (Booklist)
"Listeners won't want to miss this surprisingly positive yet truthful novel.... Susan Bennett's soft, gentle voice is perfect for Maddy's sections, and her self-assured narration highlights the character's practicality as she questions her circumstances and tries to make things right with the family members she left behind. Therese Plummer's youthful pitch and varied tone, from trembly to sassy, believably project Eve's roller-coaster emotions and changing perspective on how to live a full life. Dan Bittner's performance teases out Brady's guilt, anger, and insecurities as he reviews his married life and attempts to create a new future. All three performances are strong, creating a seamless listening experience." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Loved it! Don't let the suicide issue put you off

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.

43 of 45 people found this review helpful

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Good all around.

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.
-Adam

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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So good.

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Angela
  • Sandy, Utah United States
  • 03-10-17

The perfect timing...

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.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Could not stop listening!

This novel held my interest throughout. The three narrators brought the book to life. It gives great insight into the struggle of grief and the resilience of the human spirit. Madellyn spirit watching over her family and nudging them toward a happier life was such an inventive approach. Loved every minute of the story.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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5 Stars!

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. πŸ‘

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Debra
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 02-15-17

Loved this book!

If you could sum up I Liked My Life in three words, what would they be?

Kept me intrigued

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Toss up between Eve and Maddie

If you could take any character from I Liked My Life out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Maddie because she sounded so wise and wonderful.

Any additional comments?

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.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 07-20-17

How Could She Do Such A Thing!

As a lot of reviewers indicated, the subject of 'suicide' initially seems too much of a downer to provide any enjoyment. I agree. And yet, the wonderfully positive reviews said otherwise, so I jumped in.

There is a lot more to this book than it seems at first. It was an easy, compelling listen that I was always ready to return to. I made some initial rash judgments, as I am so prone to do. For example, I thought to myself that there was no way I ever could accept what this mother had done, in abandoning her family, especially when her teenage daughter needed her so much.

As I read on and finished the story, I realized the significant impact it had with several important takeaways for me. It really hit home that we need to appreciate our loved ones NOW, while they are still here in our life. And it is never acceptable to take advantage of people. Also, more personally, I need to stop making rash judgments before I know all of the circumstances.

This is a beautiful, heartfelt story that evoked alot of emotion for me, and it was not just sadness. It was amusing in parts, surprising, and ultimately, hopeful. Along with the occasional tears, I also chuckled and breathed a big sigh of relief. It is definitely a worthy use of a credit and I believe I might listen to it a second time in the future.

An excellent performance by all three narrators adds to the pleasure! Over all, I am giving it 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5.

If you are looking for a memorable read that will tweak your emotions (in a good way) and leave you with plenty to think about, this is the book for you.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Completely worth it.

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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"We Need To Learn To Learn From Our Pain" Maddy Starling

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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Allyce Clifton
  • 09-25-17

Loved!

Absolutely amazing book. Loved it from start to finish! I learnt a few things from this book also, and enjoyed every minute of it. Would recommend!