I LIKED MY LIFE

Abby Fabiaschi

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How can they possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

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Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch…until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How can they possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge…but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?

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  • St. Martin's Press
  • Hardcover
  • January 2017
  • 272 Pages
  • 9781250084873

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$25.99

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About Abby Fabiaschi

Abby Fabiaschi graduated from The Taft School in 1998 and Babson College in 2002. From there she climbed the corporate ladder in high technology until resigning at the end of 2012 to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an author. Now Abby and her family divide their time between Tampa, Florida and Park City, Utah. When not writing or watching the comedy show that is her children, she enjoys reading across genres, skiing, hiking, and yoga. I Liked My Life is her first novel.

Author Website

Praise

“Readers will be enveloped by the emotional impact of Fabiaschi’s writing. Warm and hopeful, this marvelous debut stands next to novels from Catherine McKenzie and Carolyn Parkhurst in taking the reader on the emotional rides that define marriage and family.”Booklist (starred)

“Debut author Fabiaschi’s even tone and her characters’ bright intelligence inspire empathy… [and] explore the main theme: tragedy often has no reason, and those experiencing it must contend with the reasonlessness as well as the loss…An earnest effort from a natural storyteller.” Kirkus

“Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, this hard-to-put-down, engrossing debut will have readers wondering until the very end. It examines life and death, despair and faith, parenthood and marriage, the choices we make, and, most of all, love―making it a perfect choice for book clubs.”Library Journal (starred)

Discussion Questions

1. Through Madeline’s past, I Liked My Life explores the day to day of stay-at-home moms. Do you feel Maddy’s experience generally represents the realities of that lifestyle? What, if anything, would have changed if they weren’t as wealthy?

2. Motherhood is a reoccurring theme throughout the book. Was there a relationship you particularly related to—Maddy/her mother; Eve/Maddy; Rory/Linda; Meg/Lucy?

3. Brady had grown up in a religious household but, over time, lost touch with those roots. Have you carried forward childhood religious traditions? Why or why not?

4. Paige and Maddy have been friends for a decade. Did you find their backstory relatable to friendships in your life?

5. Eve finds herself mourning at a tender, uncertain time of life. As part of that process, she no longer feels connected to her group of friends, or even her age group more broadly. How does her inner dialogue compare to where you were at emotionally at 16/17?

6. Eve and Brady have a contentious relationship at the beginning of the novel. What is the turning point where they soften toward each other? Does it happen at the same time for both of them?

7. Brady asserts that Maddy was the “liaison” between he and Eve. Do you feel that’s a common role mothers play between daughters and fathers? How does that compare to your childhood?

8. Do you feel the book would have worked if Maddy had died at the hands of a more common tragedy, like cancer or a car accident? Why or why not?

9. Many themes are touched on in this novel: motherhood, family roles, marriage, mourning. Which most resonated with you?

10. In the end, Brady does not end up with Rory. How did you feel about that?

11. Brady and Eve both grieved very differently. How much do you think one’s age impacts how they mourn? Gender?

12. The story ends with a snippet into Eve’s life at 27. Was she where you would have imagined her?

13. Both Eve and Brady go to a therapist. Do you think that helped? How and when do you see therapy as a positive tool?

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