Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story

Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story

by Isabel Gillies
3.7 56

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Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story by Isabel Gillies

Isabel Gillies had a wonderful life -- a handsome, intelligent, loving husband; two glorious toddlers; a beautiful house; the time and place to express all her ebullience and affection and optimism. Suddenly, that life was over. Her husband, Josiah, announced that he was leaving her and their two young sons.

When Josiah took a teaching job at a Midwestern college, Isabel and their sons moved with him from New York City to Ohio, where Isabel taught acting, threw herself into the college community, and delighted in the less-scheduled lives of toddlers raised away from the city. But within a few months, the marriage was over. The life Isabel had made crumbled. "Happens every day," said a friend.

Far from a self-pitying diatribe, Happens Every Day reads like an intimate conversation between friends. Gillies has written a dizzyingly candid, compulsively readable, ultimately redemptive story about love, marriage, family, heartbreak, and the unexpected turns of a life. On the one hand, reading this book is like watching a train wreck. On the other hand, as Gillies herself says, it is about trying to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness, and loving your life even if it has slipped away. Hers is a remarkable new voice -- instinctive, funny, and irresistible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439148570
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 03/24/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 269,027
File size: 363 KB

About the Author

Isabel Gillies, known for her television role as Detective Stabler’s wife on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and for her cinematic debut in the film Metropolitan, graduated from New York University with a BFA in film. She lives in Manhattan with her second husband, her two sons, and her stepdaughter.

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Happens Every Day 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
geekymcbooklover More than 1 year ago
You feel like an intruder to one of the most intimate parts of a person's life: their divorce. Its touching in the way that the author can admit that she had a part in the dissolving of her marriage. She doesn't demonize the man who left her and their sons. She just tells it like she experienced it. Honest and beautiful.
Philly13 More than 1 year ago
This book captured my attention from the very first page. It is a riveting story that you feel guilty enjoying so much. I literally finished this book in 24 hours.
Karen-LeBlanc More than 1 year ago
Isabel Gillies chronicles in absorbing detail the unraveling of her "perfect" marriage and life. As she struggles to reconcile the idea of her perfect life to the reality of it, she endures many soul crushing moments but soldiers on at times bravely and at other times with a blind eye to the reality of her situation. The title of the book says it all. Infidelity and divorce happen everyday but when it happens to you, it is a lonely, desperate, isolating experience. Isabel nails the experience dead on.
Patricia57PH More than 1 year ago
at the end I discovered you actually are friends now. What a bust I read this whole book where I too started to dislike the women who doesn't know how to respect another women's family...then after reading without putting down, only to find at the end you and "Sylvia" are best buddies felt like somewhat had just SLAPPED me...I am tearing that page out before I lend it to my friends....
susankaye More than 1 year ago
Isabel says in the beginning "I am not a writer...but I have been told I write good emails". That sets the tone for this warm compelling book....the story unfolds like shared confidences between friends over a glass of wine. It is based on her life experience....great marriage, beautiful home, wonderful husband, good friends. Opps......turns out the husband has the attention span of a gnat and falls in love with Isabels "friend" in the blink of an eye. He and the "friend" both lie and drive her batty...the divorce is all her fault he would have her believe. Liar Liar. Anyone who has been divorced, been left by a faithless man,is going thru a divorce or is a single mother can totally relate to her story. The book is not all pain, it is about moving on even when you just want to crawl up into a ball and fade away. Her family, friends and beautiful boys get her through. Isabels words are so descriptive.....she sets the stage well. For an untrained writer the story is lively, interesting and well paced. Whoever wrote the "OMG he left her" review is obviously either "the other woman" type, a borderline personality, or really young with no life experience. This is a warm witty book...I read it in one sitting and have recommended it to both my siters and my 3 best friends.
SuzeJones58 More than 1 year ago
My reaction... Insightful, well-written, but still a very easy read. A lot of honesty - the kind that comes with personal growth. Read it. I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
xine78 More than 1 year ago
I just bought this without really looking, so I didn't realize it was a memoir until a couple pages in. While some say her writing style is disjointed, I loved it because she writes how I think. So it made me feel like I was just talking to a friend and hearing about her situation.
Xine13 More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon this book by getting the advertisement as a book mark from Barnes and Noble. I bought and totally identified with it, since I was going through similar situations of my own. The story is told like you're listening to a friend. I really connected with this book. Give it a shot. I can't wait to read her new book now as well! christine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Listened via audiobook on my way to and from work. Thank goodness I was in the car by myself because like a horror movie I was talking to Isabel throughout the book like she was a girlfriend on the phone in the middle of an intense friend to friend therapy session. An amazing story, true to the bone, filled with heartache and triumph. It was so great to start knowing that disaster was going to lurk around the corner, but to also hear the good times that were once cherished by this woman. She tried so hard to hold him close and keep things from unraveling. Now I know this is a true story, so it is hard to suggest the author to take the story in a different direction or to change things about the characters, because in the end it really happened to this family. BUT if I was her friend I would have encouraged her to do a little more confronting of the other woman, it was obvious that this relationship was the cause of the distance between them. A book that I have literally passed onto my mom and would encourage everyone to both read or listen to this great story. Read by Isabel Gillies herself gave me the sense of feeling every emotion to the core.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SophiaGirl, I don't necessarily disagree with your overall impression of the book, but I do disagree with the following: When she meet her husband he was married, so why would any of this be a shock to her...You'd think women would read her story and learn something, the "warning signs", like he left his first wife for you!" You have your facts wrong. "Josiah" (apparently not his real name) did leave his first wife for another woman, but it was not Isabel. He was already divorced when he and Isabel reconnected. I believe, but am not certain, that he was not still seeing this other woman by then, although Isabel does state that the woman persisted in intruding into their lives well into their own marriage and that "Josiah" did not understand why this made her uncomfortable. (Hello? That might also have been one of those warning signs you mentioned.) I found this book slow and repetitive, and by the end, I was impatient for it to be over. I was surprised and disappointed to discover that the entire book but for the last few pages/minutes (I am listening to the audio version) is about every little detail leading up to the divorce and almost nothing on how she moved on from there. I would have found it more interesting and inspiring had she spent more time on the aftermath and what helped get her through the worst of it. I also agree with another poster that I suspect that there may have been issues she is either unwilling to put into print (and/or perhaps still has not admitted to herself), either about her marriage or about "Josiah" and his treatment of her. That being said, I admire her decision not to be bitter and angry at a man who blindsided her and left her for another woman, all the while refusing to admit his reasons to her or make an honest effort to resolve their issues. I could not have been so forgiving in her place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book! I bought it to read over a two week vacation, thinking it would last me during the break...I ended up reading it all in 2 days. I literally couldn't put it down. Gillies is a great writer and her book is full of emotion, honesty, love, and pain. I would recommend this for anyone who likes chick lit or for any woman going through a divorce (or for anyone thinking of being the "other woman").
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