Book Reviews

Review: Gravity is the Thing

As a teen, I was a huge fan of Jaclyn Moriarty’s quirky, personable epistolary YA, so I was really excited to see that she had written her first adult novel! It captures that same eccentric spirit as her YA works, but manages to be something completely different.

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Book: Gravity is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty

Read before: No

Ownership: E-ARC provided by NetGalley for fair review.

I don’t read a lot of adult ‘chick lit’, as I’ve rarely been able to connect with the characters due to them being in very different life circumstances to me – nothing against the genre or its readers! I was thrilled to find here that although main character Abi is a single parent to a five year old, she’s also weird in the same ways that Moriarty’s YA characters were weird – trying to figure out her place in life, not feeling like an adult yet, and ultimately embracing her own quirks. Abi’s voice has something unusual about it – she’s kind of overly dramatic but also worried about her own mundanity. It feels like she’s writing in her own diary, which is what I’ve always loved about Moriarty – it’s a talent to capture that self-conscious spark of someone writing about themselves and not have it be annoying! Abi was never annoying. She felt like a real person talking about things in the way that real people do.

The plot of the book centres around a mysterious self-help guidebook that Abi and others have been receiving excerpts from all their lives, delivered by post to wherever they are. She attends a weekend retreat that promises to solve the mysteries of the letters – except it turns out that it isn’t a self-help book using metaphors about flying, it actually is a guide to flying. Ridiculous though it is, she becomes drawn into a group of people who want to find out more. The conceit of the letters is so perfectly, weirdly Moriarty! It’s reminiscent of the pen-pal scheme that forms the backbone of her YA books, which instantly put me at my ease, but it does very different things. There’s a part of this book where you wonder if it’s going to be magical realism, but at its heart this is a novel about people embracing silliness and childishness, and finding themselves once they relax.

It’s very hard to categorise this book. It’s a delight to read, but it will make you think – it tackles some dark issues amongst its light-heartedness. It just feels like a book full of kindness and heart and love, and reading it made me smile. Four out of five cats from me! 4 star

3 thoughts on “Review: Gravity is the Thing

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