‘Gravity Is the Thing’ plunges into loss

“Gravity is the Thing” explores grief and the self help industry.

“Gravity is the Thing” explores grief and the self help industry.

TinaMarie Craven / Hearst Connecticut Media /

“Loss and possession, death and life are one, There falls no shadow where there shines no sun.” — Hilaire Belloc

Few elements in this world have the tenacity of the human spirit. We rebuild in the wake of disasters, we refuse to allow tragedy to keep us lying face down in the mud. We get up. We move forward. But how? Our latest read dives into the varied self-help zeitgeist, loss and the desire to defy gravity.

Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

Abigail Sorensen’s life has been shaped by loss. Her brother disappeared and her husband left. The only constant in her life are the mysterious chapters from “The Guidebook” that regularly arrive in the mail. When Abi attends an all-inclusive retreat to learn the truth about “The Guidebook” she doesn’t expect much from the weekend, but instead it changes her life, forcing her to reckon with how she navigates her way through life.

“Gravity Is the Thing” is a powerful meditation on loss, grief, self-help and life. Jaclyn Moriarty paints Abi as a quirky and relatable character; a single mother doing her best to raise her son while running her Happiness Café. Moriarty surrounds Abi with a collection of clever and perplexing characters that help Abi come to terms with what “The Guidebook’s” truth means to her.

“Gravity Is the Thing” sneaks up on readers, plucking their heartstrings while they’re distracted, chuckling over Moriarty’s intimate observations of the everyday peculiarities of life.

From the book jacket…

“Twenty years ago, Abigail Sorenson’s brother Robert went missing one day before her sixteenth birthday, never to be seen again. That same year, she began receiving scattered chapters in the mail of a self-help manual, the Guidebook, whose anonymous author promised to make her life soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams.”

If you enjoy…

Readers who enjoy Abi’s ruminations on life will devour “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman. Eleanor is a bit of an odd duck, but her story will shatter your heart and warm your soul over and over again. After Eleanor’s carefully curated life is cracked open by a chance encounter, she finds herself experiencing a wealth of new opportunities.