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I Liked My Life: A Novel by Abby Fabiaschi
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I Liked My Life: A Novel (2017)

by Abby Fabiaschi

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15819116,336 (4.23)2
"An emotional journey of love, loss, healing, and redemption. I rooted for every character." -- Lisa See, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Snow Flower and The Secret Fan. "I Liked My Life is a treasure of a novel. Warm-hearted and clever, the story will keep you reading until the final delicious revelation." -- Diane Chamberlain, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. "Warm and hopeful, this marvelous debut stands next to novels from Catherine McKenzie and Carolyn Parkhurst." -- Booklist (starred). In the tradition of Jodi Picoult and Where'd You Go, Bernadette? comes a story from debut author Abby Fabiaschi that is "as absorbing as it is illuminating, and as witty as it is heartbreaking." 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? "-- "Maddy was a loving, devoted stay-at-home mother . . . until she committed suicide, which left her husband Brady and her teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering how they can possibly continue without her. Maddy, however, isn't quite done with them. In an attempt to fulfill her family's needs, Maddy watches and meddles from beyond the grave, determined to find the perfect wife and mother to replace herself and heal her family. That's when she finds Rory: a free-spirited schoolteacher, who Maddy maneuvers into Eve's confidences, but who turns out to be harboring a tragedy of her own. In a story both deeply moving and charming, with the domestic insight of Jodi Picoult, I Liked My Life from debut author Abby Fabiaschi is a mother's final blessing for a family learning to live again"--… (more)

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English (17)  German (2)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Wow - I loved this book - I am so sorry I waited so long to read it. I purchased it due to the reviews but kept putting off reading it as I thought it would be a depressing, sad read. Although the premise of it is sad - it was so well written that I didn't feel sad. The characters were well developed and I really liked how it ended! ( )
  debbiebellows | Jun 1, 2019 |
This audiobook was a great listen. I thought the emotions the characters went through after a sudden death were very realistically drawn. And it raises an interesting question about what happens to the personality of the person who dies.

Maddy is a stay-at-home mom to a 17 year old daughter named Eve. Maddy's husband Brady makes a lot of money as a chief financial officer but he works a lot and often travels. He loves Maddy but he sort of takes her for granted as does Eve. Then one day they receive the devastating news that Maddy has jumped off the library building where she volunteers. Neither Eve nor Brady knew Maddy was suicidal or even depressed so they question how they treated Maddy. However, Maddy is not completely distanced from her family. She can look down on them and even communicate with them to a certain extent. She even finds the perfect woman to be Brady's next wife and Eve's mother surrogate. Rory is a teacher currently looking after her terminal mother. She is smart, fun, well-grounded and when she is hired to teach calculus to Eve in the summer they immediately hit it off. As Eve and Brady come to terms with Maddy's death and make plans for the future Maddy draws farther away from them trusting that they will be okay without her.

I've read a fair number of books dealing with life after death. Somewhat similar to this book was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. In that book a young girl who was sexually assaulted and killed looks down at her friends and family but unlike Maddy in this book she can't communicate with them. Audrey Nifinegger's Her Fearful Symmetry also had a deceased person appearing to loved ones. One I really didn't care for was Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders but it was critically acclaimed for its description of Abraham Lincoln's turmoil over his young son's death. And I, of course, have to mention Robertson Davies' contribution to the field with his Murther and Walking Spirits. Connor Gilmartin discovered his wife in bed with a man called The Sniffer and The Sniffer killed Connor. Connor sticks around to watch what happens and he has quite a wry sense of humour about it all. I'm sure there are lots more that could be mentioned; it would be an interesting trivia game. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jan 30, 2019 |
I listened to this in the audiobook format and I was mesmerized. I am not even sure it would have worked as well for me if I had just read a hard copy. This is the story of a family: mom, dad, 17-year old daughter, and what happens to them and their lives in the year following the mother's suicide. The chapters alternate between each character, told and unveiled, a layer at a time, in the first person, including mom, from the great beyond. That premise might sound hokey, but honestly, it's a very well-crafted and creatively told story, multi-layered and the perfectly cast readers made it stay-in-the-car listening, for me. The language, the emotions, the depth and complexity of the characters were all very real and made this a gripping story, despite the construct of a character speaking from beyond the grave. ( )
  jessibud2 | Dec 7, 2018 |
This book surprised me. It starts with a family dealing with suicide of the mother. Everyone feels guilty and thinks it was their fault. The interesting part of the book is the person who commits suicide is watching over the family and has a voice. The story slowly develops in the following months after the incident. As we are reading the story, We are told by the narrator that we will eventually find out why the mom ommited suicide and it is nothing like I suspected. Recommended. ( )
  janismack | Oct 24, 2018 |
Madeline, a devoted stay-at-home mother and wife has passed away. She has committed suicide and left behind her husband and teenage daughter. Brady has always believed him was a good husband who works hard to care for his family, but what he doesn't see is that he often left his family as a second priority beneath work and making money. Eve is your typical teenager consumed in school, friends, and sports. When Maddy takes her life Brady and Eve begin to see just how important she was to keeping their family together. Maddy was the glue that kept them as a whole and without her presence Brady and Eve aren't sure how to be around each other.

Brady and Eve begin to bond with each other as they try to determine what would cause Maddy to commit suicide, an act so far out of her character that it impossible for them to understand. Maddy isn't ready to leave the world quite yet and while suspended in a sort of purgatory she is able to communicate with Brady and Eve and try to plan for a better future of the two of them. As the days after Maddy's death tick by Brady and Eve learn more about themselves, the lives they have been living, and how to deal with the loss of Maddy. Will they be able to see past their hurt and move forward with life?

I LIKED MY LIFE is the story of grief, loss, and understanding. The characters of Maddy, Brady, and Eve each tell their side of the days that pass by after Maddy's death, allowing the reader to experience every angle of the situation. Instead of being cheesy the idea that Maddy is able to communicate with Brady and Eve after death is eloquently written in a way where the reader wants to know more about what happened to her and cheer for her as she attempts to help her family move on. The characters of I LIKED MY LIFE are well-rounded with complex personalities and humanness to them that the reader can easily relate to. How often are we given the chance to see our flaws so poignantly pointed out and work to improve them and be better people? That's what happens for Brady and Eve after losing Maddy and it changes their life and relationship for the better. I LIKED MY LIFE touches on important topics, such as alcoholism, regret, and self-blame. Fabiaschi has created a story that is touching, relatable, and inspiring in ways that puts I LIKED MY LIFE above many works of literary fiction. ( )
  jess_reads_books | May 28, 2018 |
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For my father, Michael Anthony Fabiaschi 1955-2008
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I found the perfect wife for my husband.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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