I LIKED MY LIFE by Abby Fabiaschi


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After her suicide, a mother hovers beyond life, observing her family and trying to help them move on.

Maddy had shown no signs of suicidal behavior and didn’t leave a note; her life actually seemed pretty great, and in the passages she narrates from beyond the grave, she agrees (hence the title). She adored her teenage daughter, Eve, and her hardworking husband, Brady. Though they had their share of fights, Maddy and her family lived privileged, protected lives, a steep improvement from the neglectful households in which both Maddy and Brady were raised. The mood is one of frustration: Maddy’s frustration that she left her family in this horrible state of grief and, in their own narrative passages, Brady's and Eve’s frustration with the lack of answers. This is eased slightly when Maddy discovers that she can concentrate thoughts and energy down at her loved ones to guide their behavior and remind them of her love. She also tries to matchmake Brady with a new woman so he and Eve can again have a mother and wife. Meddling seems uncharacteristic of Maddy, but she has limited time in her interstitial state. Debut author Fabiaschi’s even tone and her characters’ bright intelligence inspire empathy and, for the most part, keep the proceedings away from the maudlin. Great pains are initially taken to explore the main theme: tragedy often has no reason, and those experiencing it must contend with the reasonlessness as well as the loss. As the book goes on, however, this universal poignancy is undercut by plot devices, some melodramatic and some simply unnecessary. But then, when one of the protagonists is a loving, helpful ghost, a certain amount of wishful thinking is part of the deal.

An earnest effort from a natural storyteller.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-250-08487-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2016


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