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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Short Stories/Collections, 2013

Audie Award Nominee, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2013

When it happens to you, you will be surprised. That thing they say about how you knew all the time, but just weren't facing it? That might be the case, but nevertheless, there you will be.

Molly Ringwald mines the complexities of modern relationships in this gripping and nuanced collection of interlinked stories. Writing with a deep compassion for human imperfection, Ringwald follows a Los Angeles family and their friends and neighbors while they negotiate the hazardous terrain of everyday life - revealing the deceptions, heartbreak, and vulnerability familiar to us all.

In "The Harvest Moon", a stay-at-home mom grapples with age, infertility, and an increasingly distant husband. In "Ursa Minor", a former children's television star tries to rebuild his life after being hospitalized for "exhaustion". An elderly woman mourns the loss of her husband and her estranged relationship with her daughter in "The Little One". In "My Olivia", a single mother finds untapped reserves of strength to protect her flamboyant six-year-old son who wishes only to wear dresses and be addressed as Olivia. And in the devastating title story, a betrayed wife chronicles her pain and alienation, leading to an eviscerating denouement.

As the lives of these characters converge and diverge in unexpected ways, Ringwald reveals a startling eye for the universality of loss, love, and the search for connection. An unflinching yet poignant examination of the intricacies of the human heart, When It Happens to You is an auspicious literary debut.

©2012 Molly Ringwald (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What members say

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astonishing debut; I loved it!

What made the experience of listening to When It Happens to You the most enjoyable?

"Molly Ringwald"--yeah, I had preconceptions, but I had a credit on my account and I had read good reviews, so I tried it. This book blew me away, and not just because it was this particular actor's fine literary debut. Each story on its own is true and touching, a perfect bubble in time. Well done. As you read on, it will take a minute or two into each story before you realize who the characters are, where we are in their lives, whose perspective we are seeing. It is so much fun, so surprising, so perfectly fitting together into a great 'novel'. I LOVED 'When it Happens to You', and I will enjoy listening to it again. The author herself is an enjoyable narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • jennifer
  • BROOKLYN, NY, United States
  • 03-01-13

Narrated by Molly!

Molly didn't disappoint. A good story with interesting characters. Not a page-turner (or a riveting listen), but likable and interesting enough. And Molly's voice is great. Wish more narrators would take a cue from her. She knows how to deliver lines that sound authentic and not melodramatic. Refreshing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric
  • MALIBU, CA, United States
  • 07-27-13

This is not Sixteen Candles or the Breakfast Club

Well done, Molly Ringwald. The device of telling a story through linked short-stories was well-executed in this effort, with every new short story leaving the listener waiting for the tell-tale line that would contribute a new dimension to the overall plot development involving a family riven by the father's affair.

The book title, "When It Happens to You," is also the title for one of the short stories. The last sentence of that short story is brilliant, compelling, poignant and puts a fine point on the entire volume.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DrJane
  • New Orleans, LA United States
  • 09-10-12

Sublime Narrative of Life

What did you love best about When It Happens to You?

Scope of characters and descriptive language is impressive and fresh.

What did you like best about this story?

This needs to be a series or an epic, so that we can follow many of the characters further than this one novel allows.

Have you listened to any of Molly Ringwald’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

None other than her acting performances on TV or film. Her narrative performance is perfect for this work and makes for a very pleasant listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Pratiwi
  • Davie, FL, United States
  • 06-29-13

This was a great little book!

Awesome short stories that connect! LOVED THAT! Well written, well read, interesting characters. Depth from the get go. So very very good! Worth it, don't wait. I had it on my wish list looking for better books and I listened to a bunch of bad stuff when I finally gave it a chance and totally loved it. Believable, realistic, touching, interesting! Keeps you thinking about the stories after you finished the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • St Brides, Alberta, Canada
  • 12-31-12

I had been interested in Ringwald as a writer

and wasn't disappointed. She really did a nice job in developing her characters. Her story was only too relatable, and unfolded realistically. Her narration was well involved in the story, and totally believable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sam
  • Kingwood, TX, United States
  • 10-01-12

She Can Write

I got this partly based on the reviews and partly as a curiosity item, but I was rewarded with an excellent book.
I found the writing insightful and moving. She did a very good job of describing the heartbreak as well as the joy of relationships.
At first I felt the reading was a little flat but as I continued, I was hooked. It had just the right amount of emotion to match the different stories. I loved how each short story was connected to the others. It reminded me of O Henry's "Cabbages and Kings" in this respect.
Very good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful