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

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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.

About Isabel Gillies

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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.
Published March 3, 2009 by Scribner. 268 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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It doesn’t help Gillies’ credibility that she’s prone to sentences like, “I hate to say that, and it’s only a theory, but I think it’s true.” As to whether or not she actually had a perfect marriage whose only problem was the woman who broke it up, readers will draw their own conclusions.

Feb 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Happens Every Day: An All-Too...


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There was another of Josiah's mother, Julia, holding hands with her husband, John, Josiah's stepfather, whose other hand was linked in a chain with four children.

Mar 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Happens Every Day: An All-Too...

Entertainment Weekly

The heartbreakingly banal truth at the crux of Isabel Gillies' debut memoir is this: ''When one person really wants to go, there is nothing you can do about it but watch them.'' Happens Every Day is her unevenly written but emotionally involving account of a marriage that seemed nearly perfect —...

Mar 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Happens Every Day: An All-Too...

Tampa Bay Times

They tell the story of Isabel Gillies and her husband, Josiah, who, within a month after wallpapering their bathroom, left his wife and sons for another woman.

Apr 25 2009 | Read Full Review of Happens Every Day: An All-Too...


If your mate was deceiving you (or you had been unfaithful to him), who could you count on to keep your secrets?

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Josiah Robinson (not his real name) falls in love with Isabel Gillies (her real name) when he is 7.

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A promising (and very lovely) actress, Gillies leaves Hollywood behind to follow her poet husband (dashing and handsome, of course) to Oberlin College in Ohio, where they set up a life of idyll: precious, perfect little children;

Sep 23 2009 | Read Full Review of Happens Every Day: An All-Too...

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