Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies: Review

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 Posted by Dina N

Whenever I go to Starbucks and wait to get my drink from the barista, I always look at the book they feature. I have found some really good reads there in the past. Last month, the book that intrigued me was Happens Every Day by Isabel Gillies. It is an autobiographical book written by the actress who played Detective Stabler's wife on Law and Order Special Victims Unit.

Isabel tells the story of how her picture-perfect marriage came to an end. Married to a handsome poetry professor, she has two little boys by the time her husband's academic job moves the family to Oberlin, Ohio. Isabel leaves New York and her acting career and becomes a stay at home mom. Although she is not a professional writer but an actress, I greatly enjoyed her writing style. Her description of this quiet college town and the simple life there is a fascinating read. Isabel made me see the perfect brick house the family lives in, smell the organic farm where she gets produce and flowers, and meet the characters in this small-town drama.

Shortly after Isabel and her family get settled in this ideal life, her husband declares that he does not love her any more and decides to leave the family. Isabel's world disintegrates while she is trying to cope, reeling from the shock and the reality of raising her two young boys alone, leaving her perfect home, and finding a new direction in her life thrust in chaos.

Isabel Gillies describes her drama emotionally but also honestly. Reading her book is like listening to a close friend who will share everything. Isabel suffers but she does not wallow in self-pity. She is imperfect but endearing, and I can tell that her strong personality will eventually help her get up and keep going.

I highly recommend this book - a fresh, candid account of an all-too-true story, in Isabel's own words.

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