Sometimes a novel comes along that gives you pause, encourages you hug your parents, your spouse, or your kids, and challenges you to take stock, as it touches your heart all the way to your very soul.
We know from the start that Madeline is dead, but she is working as hard as she can to help her daughter and husband move on with their lives, while she still can. For starters, she is going to pick the perfect wife for Brady, which is where the story begins.
Meanwhile, sixteen year old Eve is guilt ridden and angry at the world after her mother’s suicide. She and her father, Brady, are having a very hard time communicating and working through their grief. Each of them are discovering, painfully, how very special Madeline was, how many sacrifices she made for them, and how they took her for granted. But, the biggest hurdle to jump is accepting the manner of death, which left everyone asking- Why???
For Eve and Brady, It’s going to be a long, hard journey, riddled with emotional land mines, but the discovery of Madeline’s journal gives each of them a unique glimpse into the inner thoughts, feelings, frustrations, disappointments, and triumphs of a truly remarkable woman. Bradly and Eve will see how she dedicated her life to them,how much she loved them, how important it will be to cherish her memory, and how her life, through death, has placed them on a determined path towards forgiveness and hope, and maybe a little redemption for one and all.
We experience this brutally frank examination of tragedy, death and its aftermath from the point of view of Eve, Brady, and the ghostly Madeline, each of whom deal with and cope with the cards they have been dealt in a number of ways.
It's impossible to read this book without shedding a few tears, because the story is so raw and sensitive, but there are also many funny, delightful, and even whimisical moments, to offset the painful journey through grief and the search for understanding.
I loved the way the things worked out in the end, which is very unexpected, absolutely mind blowing, and is incredibly inspiring and hopeful.
This is a debut novel, believe it or not, but the writing is amazingly candid, vivid and beautiful. I can’t seem to find all the right words or ways to express how special this novel is. I absolutely loved it! All I can say is that I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
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?