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"A Year and Six Seconds" is the true story of "New York Times"-bestselling memoirist Gillies's vibrant yet bumbling efforts to pick herself up after her husband leaves her for another woman--and then of how she stumbles upon true love.


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"A Year and Six Seconds" is the true story of "New York Times"-bestselling memoirist Gillies's vibrant yet bumbling efforts to pick herself up after her husband leaves her for another woman--and then of how she stumbles upon true love.

30 review for A Year and Six Seconds: A Memoir of Stumbling from Heartbreak to Happiness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    I read Isabel Gillies' first book "Happens Every Day" in 2010; just months before my whole world [like hers in that book] was turned upside down when my then husband, out of the clear blue, walked away from me and my marriage. I know that those first few months after it happened, I thought back to that book and how much grace and willingness to make the abnormal Isabel showed [even amidst the tantrums and anger and crying] to her ex throughout the process and strived to do the same thing [and I I read Isabel Gillies' first book "Happens Every Day" in 2010; just months before my whole world [like hers in that book] was turned upside down when my then husband, out of the clear blue, walked away from me and my marriage. I know that those first few months after it happened, I thought back to that book and how much grace and willingness to make the abnormal Isabel showed [even amidst the tantrums and anger and crying] to her ex throughout the process and strived to do the same thing [and I also remembered how my own Mum was during the process when my father left us and still how much grace she shows that man]; I often failed. When I saw that she had written a second book that focuses on the first year after the separation and divorce, I knew I had to read it. I also knew I had to wait until I was in a better place myself, because I also knew this book was how she fell in love again and I was sure [at the time it was released] that I wasn't ready to read about that [no matter just how happy I was for her]. APPARENTLY, 7 years after my separation and divorce, I was still not ready to read about that. I cried A LOT during this book. A. LOT. And spent some time being envious of her being able to live in NYC [oh how I miss that city] and even though it was tough, had the opportunity to try and heal and move on in one of the greatest cities in the world instead of a dumb little town in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania where everyone knows everyone and you get tired of people being in your business. But I digress. And I was envious of the fact that she found love again. I think that will never happen for me again. I loved my ex completely and not only am I afraid of never finding that kind of love again, I am TERRIFIED of actually finding it again [you see the dilemma here right?]. It was interesting to see the process for her went and then what she had to deal with AFTER she got remarried and how she did that and became a better person in the process - a better person, mother and yes, wife. This was a great read for me - even with all the tears and mild forays into envy [they didn't really last that long because I am, for the first time in a long time content with where I am. I miss the human contact of that kind of relationship, but I am okay with that most days]. I like how Isabel writes and how she portrays everyone in the book, including all the hilarity about herself. I am glad that I finally was able to read this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anna Louise Kallas

    When the story opens, it's a dark and slushy winter in New York City, where Isabel is arriving by airplane from Ohio, two toddlers in tow, to move in with her parents; her husband has left her for another woman. In subsequent scene after hilarious scene, Isabel shares her valiant, misguided, and bumbling attempts to understand her own part in the disintegration of her marriage and to feel strong and loveable. And, one by one, she begins to cross items off a staggering single mom to-do list that When the story opens, it's a dark and slushy winter in New York City, where Isabel is arriving by airplane from Ohio, two toddlers in tow, to move in with her parents; her husband has left her for another woman. In subsequent scene after hilarious scene, Isabel shares her valiant, misguided, and bumbling attempts to understand her own part in the disintegration of her marriage and to feel strong and loveable. And, one by one, she begins to cross items off a staggering single mom to-do list that includes: change last name, get bank account, get work, have breakdowns only in front of best friend and not in front of children, find rare preschool slot for son midyear in Manhattan, get along with three generations of family in tight quarters, find a man who can plant one great and romantic kiss, accept self, accept love, be happy. She cries, she dates, she (and her mother and father and children) get the flu, and then, just when she least expects it, Isabel falls in love. With humility and a refreshing sense of humor, Isabel stumbles many times but also laughs, forgives, discovers new treasures from old friends, marries again, and more than that, finds good love itself within and around her. Beautiful writing but a heartbreaking story until the end! I found myself relating to her as a woman who is going through a divorce while worrying about her children and trying not to make the same mistakes again in her life. I cried tears with her tears in the story and found myself crying at the end of the book because she found her true love and happiness. I would recommend it for a soul searching tale of the bumpy road that leads you to where you were meant to be.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peebee

    OK, so Isabel Gillies is incredibly self-absorbed and a drama queen. It's not like I didn't know this from reading her first book. I'm not sure why I put this on my to-read list, because not long after I started, I'm thinking, "oh yeah, I really find her annoying, so why did I want to read about how it all worked out great for her?" That feeling persisted throughout the book. She acts like she's the first person to have ever suffered heartbreak, or having her husband fall in love with someone el OK, so Isabel Gillies is incredibly self-absorbed and a drama queen. It's not like I didn't know this from reading her first book. I'm not sure why I put this on my to-read list, because not long after I started, I'm thinking, "oh yeah, I really find her annoying, so why did I want to read about how it all worked out great for her?" That feeling persisted throughout the book. She acts like she's the first person to have ever suffered heartbreak, or having her husband fall in love with someone else, or having to raise her children as a single mother, or having to start over her life by moving in with her parents after she became an adult. The truth is, she's a working actress who has regularly appeared on shows you've heard of, her parents have a large enough apartment in Manhattan to take her in, and her husband appears to be paying child support and attempting to remain part of her kids' lives. And she fell in love again just a few months after her divorce was final -- without even dating someone else seriously first -- and is now remarried to a great guy. So all in all, her life is not really so bad, at least to anyone but her, because, you see, her life was supposed to be perfect, being smart and beautiful and all. She writes well, and manages to make this story as interesting as it could be, but ultimately, it's not that interesting.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carianne Carleo-Evangelist

    I went into it with minimal expectations - I'm vaguely familiar with her work as an actor, but a friend invited me to an upcoming booktalk and I figured I should at least thumb through this so I was familiar with her work as an author. If I'd started reading this earlier in the day, I would have finished it in one setting. I could not put it down. Her writing is so compelling and this is every woman's story- love, loss and children. The premise is, you may know in six seconds if this is The One - I went into it with minimal expectations - I'm vaguely familiar with her work as an actor, but a friend invited me to an upcoming booktalk and I figured I should at least thumb through this so I was familiar with her work as an author. If I'd started reading this earlier in the day, I would have finished it in one setting. I could not put it down. Her writing is so compelling and this is every woman's story- love, loss and children. The premise is, you may know in six seconds if this is The One -- but that even The One might not be the forever one. She'd relocated do Oberlin, Ohio for her then-husband's job and within a year and a half, he'd left her and their two young boys. This is the story of Gillies' move back to NYC, her childhood bedroom and a mix of the practical (establishing residency to be qualified to take over her parents' lease) to the amusing: hanging a Red Hot CHili Peppers' poster in her former and current bedroom. THe story culminates in her meeting and marrying her second husband, also a divorcé. An excellent read -- her voice is strong and her writing is engaging.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    I read Gillies first memoir, Happens Every Day, and really enjoyed it so I decided to read this book as well. There's almost no need to read this book if you've read the first one as the first 80% or so is a more detailed description of the last few chapters of Happens Every Day after describing her life in NYC after moving back in with her parents with her two young sons following her divorce. She eventually picks up on some new material with getting back in the dating scene and meeting her sec I read Gillies first memoir, Happens Every Day, and really enjoyed it so I decided to read this book as well. There's almost no need to read this book if you've read the first one as the first 80% or so is a more detailed description of the last few chapters of Happens Every Day after describing her life in NYC after moving back in with her parents with her two young sons following her divorce. She eventually picks up on some new material with getting back in the dating scene and meeting her second husband. Gillies is a good enough writer that I still enjoyed this book, but I wouldn't recommend reading both this and Happens Every Day because it's like reading the same book but with a short addendum. She has now broken my Augusten Burroughs memoir rule, which is that even if you had something interesting enough to write a memoir about to start with there is no need to continue chronicling your life in future memoirs from the point where that first memoir left off. Trust me you are not that interesting of a person. So now I am done reading your books unless you come up with a new topic.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    Okay -- I can't explain why I loved this so much, but I did. I read her first book and had the same reaction. Parts of it are written with such childlike innocence, I found myself thinking it was cheesy...but maybe that's how it seduces. She pulls you in with her honesty. I found myself thinking I could be friends with this woman (and then remembered she's famous). I read it in one day. If she writes another book, I'm sure the same thing will happen: I'll buy it, begin reading, wince at the chee Okay -- I can't explain why I loved this so much, but I did. I read her first book and had the same reaction. Parts of it are written with such childlike innocence, I found myself thinking it was cheesy...but maybe that's how it seduces. She pulls you in with her honesty. I found myself thinking I could be friends with this woman (and then remembered she's famous). I read it in one day. If she writes another book, I'm sure the same thing will happen: I'll buy it, begin reading, wince at the cheese, keep reading and then be sad when it's over because I enjoyed it so much.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I loved her first book and sympathized with her, the devoted wife cast aside for a newer younger French professor. This one was braver because after she moves in with her parents and two young children in NYC one starts to find her...annoying. She's open and honest about what it's like to be dumped, divorced, lonely and raising Two little boys. But it does somehow endear u you to Isabelle like the first memoir does. Still you find yourself relating to her insecurities and the mess of it all. And I loved her first book and sympathized with her, the devoted wife cast aside for a newer younger French professor. This one was braver because after she moves in with her parents and two young children in NYC one starts to find her...annoying. She's open and honest about what it's like to be dumped, divorced, lonely and raising Two little boys. But it does somehow endear u you to Isabelle like the first memoir does. Still you find yourself relating to her insecurities and the mess of it all. And cheering for her when she meets her soulmate in Central Park.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I listened to the audio version. The author should be lauded for her introspection (which other reviewers have labeled self-absorption) because she was looking within herself to figure out what part she may have played in the dissolution of her marriage. It would have been easier just to say her husband left her for another woman...which he did. But the author also would have led us to believe that she was among the first divorced women in NYC. In this day and age, divorced single moms are not an I listened to the audio version. The author should be lauded for her introspection (which other reviewers have labeled self-absorption) because she was looking within herself to figure out what part she may have played in the dissolution of her marriage. It would have been easier just to say her husband left her for another woman...which he did. But the author also would have led us to believe that she was among the first divorced women in NYC. In this day and age, divorced single moms are not an aberration or a pariah. While Gillies's writing is not particularly lyrical or rich, she comes up with some golden observations/lessons. The epilogue, in which her son is struggling with homework so they Skype her ex-husband, was sweet as she urged that, by staying friends with an ex-, there are many important things the divorced parents can do together for their children.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carlene

    A candid examination of the breakup of a marriage and life as a single mother. I was engrossed in her story through much of the book but finally began to get weary of her weeping and self absorption. As others have pointed out she was rather fortunate in the circumstances she had to fall back on (sharing an apartment in Manhattan with her parents who were supportive and available for child care, her old acting job back, friends she grew up with nearby, support and monthly visitations with the ch A candid examination of the breakup of a marriage and life as a single mother. I was engrossed in her story through much of the book but finally began to get weary of her weeping and self absorption. As others have pointed out she was rather fortunate in the circumstances she had to fall back on (sharing an apartment in Manhattan with her parents who were supportive and available for child care, her old acting job back, friends she grew up with nearby, support and monthly visitations with the children from her ex). Certainly it isn't easy though as she admits she is a drama queen. This became quite evident though she ends by recognizing this along with some other characters flaws and seeks therapy for improvement on these issues.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    Sometimes books come along just when you need them. This may not be an exciting book for everyone but if you are in the midst of separation or divorce it is nice to know you are not alone. Even people with support of families ( She was able to bring her two little boys to New York to live with her parents ) we are all experiencing the same doubts and questions. One thing I love about the book is that she did not just end it with the happy ending. It goes a little further in discovering what she h Sometimes books come along just when you need them. This may not be an exciting book for everyone but if you are in the midst of separation or divorce it is nice to know you are not alone. Even people with support of families ( She was able to bring her two little boys to New York to live with her parents ) we are all experiencing the same doubts and questions. One thing I love about the book is that she did not just end it with the happy ending. It goes a little further in discovering what she had contributed to the divorce and what she has to work on in her new marriage.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    After her gut-wrenching honesty and impressive (heroic?) first book, I was thrilled to see another book from this talented woman. This second memoir is every bit as good as her first and thankfully for Ms Gillies this is the story of her joyful new beginning. It’s impossible not to cheer for this spirited, open, generous and beautiful (inside & out) person. After her gut-wrenching honesty and impressive (heroic?) first book, I was thrilled to see another book from this talented woman. This second memoir is every bit as good as her first and thankfully for Ms Gillies this is the story of her joyful new beginning. It’s impossible not to cheer for this spirited, open, generous and beautiful (inside & out) person.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marisa

    Kobo Library. Ok now I want her to just get over it already, her ex fucked her over. And no longer loves her because of that selfish woman Silvia. She had her sights on Isabel’s husband from the start no matter that there were two small children’s involved. I hate women who hate women and do not take into consideration the family unit but are,solely selfish.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura Turowski

    Having gone through a situation similar to Isabel, and after reading her first book, I was excited to read this one. It was pretty good. She seems to just scratch the surface of what people feel going through divorce/child custody issues.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Humble, unassuming, honest, and funny - like listening to a girlfriend

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mayer Baker

    Isabel's story is relatable which is a comforting thing for those of us going through that hard, dark year post divorce.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Dotts

    When her marriage ends, Isabel Gillies finds herself and her two young sons back in New York, living with her parents. Her memoir, A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story, recounts her struggles to put the pieces of their lives if not back together again, at least together enough to take on a new shape. Gillies’ voice is that of a close friend, and the memoir reads as if the reader and Gillies were catching up over a cup of coffee. The tone is engaging. Memoirs can often read as if the author is dum When her marriage ends, Isabel Gillies finds herself and her two young sons back in New York, living with her parents. Her memoir, A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story, recounts her struggles to put the pieces of their lives if not back together again, at least together enough to take on a new shape. Gillies’ voice is that of a close friend, and the memoir reads as if the reader and Gillies were catching up over a cup of coffee. The tone is engaging. Memoirs can often read as if the author is dumping all her dirty laundry onto the page for readers to revel in and for the author to take pride in. Although there’s something to be said for the “no shame” approach, Gillies takes a different tack. She retells the initial days of moving back to the family home with the right mix of full disclosure and privacy. She cops to feelings of embarrassment about living with her parents and how it affects their lives, but doesn’t dwell too much on it. This is not a “woe is me” memoir. Gillies never panders to her readers, offering clichéd advice about surviving divorce or jumping into the dating pool again. Instead, Gillies matter-of-factly describes the events of the year after her marriage ended, without excessive hand wringing or wallowing. She doesn’t whitewash events either. She’s the first to admit when she’s incapable of rising above feelings of jealousy, anger and complete sorrow. The emotions of the past are still fresh in her mind, but the perspective of time lets Gillies write about them with a slight sense of distance. What comes through most of all is her love for her two sons. The move from a suburban college town in Ohio to Manhattan couldn’t have been easy for the family. But Gillies and her parents make the most of it for the boys. Whether it’s turning getting dressed in winter gear into a game with waiting chairs or finding the perfect nanny through Craigslist, Gillies writes with honesty about single motherhood. She has a strong support system and acknowledges it as helping get her through the year. Details of the marriage’s end are left to Gillies' previous book, Happens Every Day: An All-True Story. A Year and Six Seconds spends its time looking at how divorcing parents try to remain a family across state lines and how Gillies is able to accept that reconciliation is out of the question and she wouldn’t want it anyway. The six seconds of the title refers something a friend told Gillies – it takes six seconds to fall in love. As she explains, six-second love isn’t “a fleeting through about how someone is hot, and I’m not talking about a crush; I’m talking about knowing with certainty that you could spend your life with this person. In an instant, not only are you down the aisle, but you have had the babies, you have reached old age, and you are buried side by side under a tree for all eternity. In six seconds, you see it all. And you feel it; you feel the love that will make your whole life shift. Six-second love is real, but it doesn’t always get you to happily ever after.” Gillies gets a second chance at six-second love toward the end of the memoir, about a year chronologically after her first marriage ends. This isn’t a spoiler: Gillies tells readers up front that there’s a second love in her life. But the memoir doesn’t follow Gillies on madcap adventures in dating. She talks about her first post-marriage kiss (a true New York moment) and some of the dates she went on, but they’re not important to who she is now and Gillies rightly leaves details out of the memoir. Some readers may want more from the book in this regard, but the love story of the subtitle is really about Gillies’ love for her sons and (as corny as it can sound) for herself. If the memoir had ended before Gillies' second marriage or even before she met her husband, you have the feeling she and the boys were going to be okay. And you look forward to the next time you can get together over coffee.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    THOUGHT IT WOUL BE MORE OF A MODERN LOVE STORY. WAS MORE ABOUT RECOVERY FROM DIVORCE

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This memoir is a sequel to "Happens Every Day", in which Isabel Gillies described her (first) marriage to a brilliant but difficult literature professor, their life in the hippie college town of Oberlin, Ohio, and the eventual breakdown of her marriage. That book was very touching, because it alternated the joy of finding love, having babies, creating a new life, with the sudden bewilderment of finding out that your husband just doesn't want to be married to you any more (of course there's anoth This memoir is a sequel to "Happens Every Day", in which Isabel Gillies described her (first) marriage to a brilliant but difficult literature professor, their life in the hippie college town of Oberlin, Ohio, and the eventual breakdown of her marriage. That book was very touching, because it alternated the joy of finding love, having babies, creating a new life, with the sudden bewilderment of finding out that your husband just doesn't want to be married to you any more (of course there's another woman in the offing). This book picks up just when Isabel has returned to New York City with her two small boys. She moves in with her parents in their fancy-but-small Manhattan apartment (with view on Central Park), tries to get on with the daily aspects of parenting (finding a preschool, finding a pediatrician) and in general tries to get on with her life. This includes some tentative dates. Eventually, about one year after her first marriage fell apart, she falls in love with an old acquaintance and they merge their two families. Happily ever after. Without wanting to minimize the heartache and hurt that the author felt, this book came across as "divorce-light". Perhaps it was because she had so many safety nets, compared to other women? The old parental coop to fly back into, loads of caring (and rich) friends to pick up the threads with?Isabel Gillies seems to have fitted right back into her Old Money life in New York, including wearing her friends' designer castoffs to dates. She seems to get a job somewhere, but there is definitely a sense of there being a financial cushion. When her husband flies over to spend the weekend with his sons, she takes off for a spa weekend with her girlfriends - somehow it all came across as too easy, too much like a Hallmark movie. Her children's anxiety and sadness comes through occasionally, but even then it's usually in relationship to her own life. So all in all, not as touching as the first book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Donura

    RATING: 5 out 5 In this follow-up memoir to “It Happens Every Day”, Isabel Gillies, bares her heart and all the raw emotions that came in the aftermath of her separation from her husband who has fallen in love with someone else. She leaves her home, most of her possessions, most of the possessions of her children, and the Midwestern town she has called home. She is honest with her hurt and pain as she heads back to her parents’ apartment in New York with her two very small little boys. My first RATING: 5 out 5 In this follow-up memoir to “It Happens Every Day”, Isabel Gillies, bares her heart and all the raw emotions that came in the aftermath of her separation from her husband who has fallen in love with someone else. She leaves her home, most of her possessions, most of the possessions of her children, and the Midwestern town she has called home. She is honest with her hurt and pain as she heads back to her parents’ apartment in New York with her two very small little boys. My first thoughts when I began this book was why would she move back in with her parents but once the scene unfolds, you realize that it was the best move she could have made for all of them in terms of a safe, warm, loving cocoon that helped both her and the boys heal. Her frankness about the obstacles, uncertainty, and the depression that comes to her in waves almost every day, is a wonderful gift to other women who may be going through this kind of separation and loss of a relationship and will help them see that they are the only out there with the same or similar problems. This is wonderful personal story that takes you through all the different stages of the failing of a relationship. You wonder at times if Isabel will come out on the other in tack or will she withdraw with the help of her aging parents. Her story is one that can be recommended to a friend who might be going through a separation or divorce, to someone you know who is finding it difficult to move on just yet, or simply anyone who want to see that there is light on the other side of any bad situation.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Florinda

    Isabel Gillies believes it takes a full six seconds to fall in love. However, one has to be ready and willing to experience those six seconds. After Gillies’ first marriage ended, it took about a year for her to get to that readiness. Gillies’ 2009 memoir, Happens Every Day, explored her marriage to the father of her two young sons, which abruptly ended with her husband’s announcement that he was leaving her for another woman. This follow-up opens as Gillies brings her children back to her own ch Isabel Gillies believes it takes a full six seconds to fall in love. However, one has to be ready and willing to experience those six seconds. After Gillies’ first marriage ended, it took about a year for her to get to that readiness. Gillies’ 2009 memoir, Happens Every Day, explored her marriage to the father of her two young sons, which abruptly ended with her husband’s announcement that he was leaving her for another woman. This follow-up opens as Gillies brings her children back to her own childhood home - her parents’ New York City apartment - and takes the first shaky steps into a new stage of life as an unmarried woman and single parent. Not all of those steps move her directly forward, as she often finds herself sorting back through her broken marriage to understand how it happened. But as she focuses on creating a secure place for her children to grow, she’s growing too, and coming to understand herself and what she wants in her next relationship. And she does want that next relationship...when it’s time. The tone of A Year and Six Seconds is candid and conversational. Gillies lets readers know up front that she does get those six seconds, and she engages us in the journey to reach them. Her depiction of her struggles, false starts, small triumphs and epiphanies will ring bells with anyone who’s ever been through a breakup, and so will her determination to make a bad situation better. She gets closer to a happy ending than many of us do, and that doesn’t happen every day.

  21. 4 out of 5

    melanie (lit*chick)

    Having read and enjoyed her first book Happens Every Day, I was curious about the rest of the story. What happened after she packs up her two boys, leaves her cheating college professor husband, and moves in with her parents in New York City? Aside from being a giant mess...how does she navigate this next part? As in her first book, author Gillies does not seem to hold back, even when it portrays her in a poor light. I am confused about the purpose of this book - is it supposed to be triumphant, Having read and enjoyed her first book Happens Every Day, I was curious about the rest of the story. What happened after she packs up her two boys, leaves her cheating college professor husband, and moves in with her parents in New York City? Aside from being a giant mess...how does she navigate this next part? As in her first book, author Gillies does not seem to hold back, even when it portrays her in a poor light. I am confused about the purpose of this book - is it supposed to be triumphant, insightful, inspiring, or just serve the leftover questions from the first book? (I'm guessing the latter, guilty as charged). I already knew she remarries...a curiosity aroused after finishing book one and sated by google. Admittedly, I was expecting something a little less sloppy. And while I defended her right to fall apart while her marriage was crumbling, I didn't realize she was going to turn into one of those girls everyone knew in college (or high school) that always has a man or needs to have one or whatever. Granted, living with your parents as an adult is stressful enough without the added issues that come from divorce but I didn't get the sense that she was moving forward at all. She floated around, got her old job back, regularly swam in puddle of self pity, stumbled on her husband and now she's happy again. Sorry if that was a spoiler...but I'm not sure there is a fresh story to be spoiled here.

  22. 4 out of 5

    A. S.

    “A year and six seconds” by Isabel Gillies, follows her life as her husband Josiah leaves her, and she is forced to move from their house in Ohio to live with her parents in their rent-controlled apartment in New York. To complicate matters, Isabel is forced to settle her two toddler sons into their new New York home, adjust to her ex-husband’s betrayal, and attempt to make a new life for herself (get a new state driver’s license, open a bank account, find a job, etc.) in spite of all the obstac “A year and six seconds” by Isabel Gillies, follows her life as her husband Josiah leaves her, and she is forced to move from their house in Ohio to live with her parents in their rent-controlled apartment in New York. To complicate matters, Isabel is forced to settle her two toddler sons into their new New York home, adjust to her ex-husband’s betrayal, and attempt to make a new life for herself (get a new state driver’s license, open a bank account, find a job, etc.) in spite of all the obstacles. Gillies is probably best known for her role in “Law and order.” Although I am not an avid watcher of the show, I became interested in her memoir after reading a blurb about her story. This is definitely not a weepy-divorce type of book. Rather, it an optimistic account of overcoming the pain and discomfort of divorce—only to end up on the sunny side of life. I found the writing candid, humorous, and down to earth. The memoir itself is very reminiscent of a diary, as Gillies reflects upon intimate issues. At one point, she even confesses to feeling unwanted—her ex-husband loves another woman, her mother is tired of seeing the constant ruckus in her apartment that comes from Isabel and her two children, her friends try to unsuccessfully match her up with potential suitors, and life in New York is giving her a hard time. It’s the kind of memoir that is both interesting and highly relatable.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susy

    This book isn't going to win any awards for brilliant writing but the story develops as though the reader is spending a long weekend with the author and hearing her tell the story of going from despair to to happily ever after. Unlike others who have read this memoir, the author was completely unfamiliar to me because apparently I'm the only person in the world who doesn't watch Law & Order, SVU. Still, every person's experience with the end of a marriage, being tossed aside for another woman an This book isn't going to win any awards for brilliant writing but the story develops as though the reader is spending a long weekend with the author and hearing her tell the story of going from despair to to happily ever after. Unlike others who have read this memoir, the author was completely unfamiliar to me because apparently I'm the only person in the world who doesn't watch Law & Order, SVU. Still, every person's experience with the end of a marriage, being tossed aside for another woman and having to find oneself as a single parent is compelling. The author is lucky to have supportive parents with a large apartment in Manhattan who welcome her and her boys. Clearly she doesn't have quite the financial worry many newly single women face and she does have a career to help pay for her son's pricey pre school tuition - among other mandatory Manhatten lifestyle expenses. What I came away with is that she figured out that in order for her children to be as healthy and happy as possible given the circumstances of divorce and parents living in separate states is that she had to make peace with their father and his new wife. Marriages can end but parenting is forever; people who can rise above their anger and put their chidlren's needs first are good role models in my mind. Gillies is a good role mode.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    This is a sequel to her first memoir, Happens Every Day, which details her marriage breaking up. Now Isabel is living with her young sons (a four-year-old and a two-year-old) and her parents in their New York apartment. In this book, Isabel talks about how she starts her life again. It helps to know that the story ends well; a few months after moving back to New York, she meets a man and a year after that meeting, they were married. Even so, it's hard to read how Isabel has to adjust to being sin This is a sequel to her first memoir, Happens Every Day, which details her marriage breaking up. Now Isabel is living with her young sons (a four-year-old and a two-year-old) and her parents in their New York apartment. In this book, Isabel talks about how she starts her life again. It helps to know that the story ends well; a few months after moving back to New York, she meets a man and a year after that meeting, they were married. Even so, it's hard to read how Isabel has to adjust to being single and the mom of two boys. There are a lot of things that I wouldn't even think of, like getting two little kids dressed for cold weather all by yourself. (Snow pants, mittens, jackets...) I do like how she doesn't idealize herself. She was angry for a while, she said, and she called the woman that her first husband was in love with, the one that ended their marriage* and there were arguments and bad things said. But even so she's impossible not to root for and I'm glad things worked out. * = although that's a little simplistic; you can't steal someone who doesn't want to be stolen, you know?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    Circumstances for every divorce are different from each other, and also similar. In this book, Gillies records the year after her divorce, living in NYC with her children, in her parents' home. With humor, and complete honesty, she tells her feelings of failure, her struggle to be a single mom, and the constant panic to somehow make a good life out of this mess. Yes, she has it easier than many single moms.(Her parents take them in, so she doesn't have to worry about financially supporting her l Circumstances for every divorce are different from each other, and also similar. In this book, Gillies records the year after her divorce, living in NYC with her children, in her parents' home. With humor, and complete honesty, she tells her feelings of failure, her struggle to be a single mom, and the constant panic to somehow make a good life out of this mess. Yes, she has it easier than many single moms.(Her parents take them in, so she doesn't have to worry about financially supporting her little family, right away). She acknowledges how fortunate she is to have had that support. She is grateful and knows that other women aren't quite so lucky, post-divorce. Still, her feelings and experiences are valid. Every divorce story is unique. I'm impressed that Gillies sought out therapy. Even when 'fault' for a divorce can be placed firmly on the cheating spouse, it's important for the 'wronged' person to examine his or her own contribution to the demise of the marriage. And as Gillies points out, she wants to improve as a wife/mother/woman and is willing to make improvements for herself, and have successful relationships with her parents, children and second husband.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Felicity

    I can't remember the rating I gave to her first book or what my reactions were, although I seem to recall being vaguely uncomfortable with her histrionics (even if she was honest in confessing them). Maybe I'm in the mood for a more hopeful book or maybe I've mellowed as I've become older, but this was actually a surprisingly good book. I suppose I wasn't sure if she was just cashing in on the success of the first. Taken together, I think these can be read as stories/memoirs about a woman who re I can't remember the rating I gave to her first book or what my reactions were, although I seem to recall being vaguely uncomfortable with her histrionics (even if she was honest in confessing them). Maybe I'm in the mood for a more hopeful book or maybe I've mellowed as I've become older, but this was actually a surprisingly good book. I suppose I wasn't sure if she was just cashing in on the success of the first. Taken together, I think these can be read as stories/memoirs about a woman who really just wanted to be married and be a mother. Yes, she wanted a career, but being a wife and a mother was/is a really important part of her identity which explains so much of what happens in this second book. Secondly, this memoir is actually very well-written. Once again, this was something of a surprise. I suppose I was expecting something worse. And for its insights into how you gotta work New York's rent-controlled housing laws...this book can't be beat. I mean, I had heard all about it, but Gillies' estate planning is kind of macabre (given her parents are still alive!) But that's what you have got to do if you want to be afford living in New York...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sharla

    I thoroughly enjoyed Gillies' preceding memoir centering on the discovery and infidelity and subsequent unanticipated demise of her marriage, so it comes as no surprise that I found this follow-up equally appealing. She is again refreshingly honest and open about the myriad of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that can come rushing in during the experiences of navigating a divorce, single parenting, and moving on from a broken heart. It reads as though she is telling us her story over a glass of I thoroughly enjoyed Gillies' preceding memoir centering on the discovery and infidelity and subsequent unanticipated demise of her marriage, so it comes as no surprise that I found this follow-up equally appealing. She is again refreshingly honest and open about the myriad of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that can come rushing in during the experiences of navigating a divorce, single parenting, and moving on from a broken heart. It reads as though she is telling us her story over a glass of wine and shared friendship. Favorites: "For a time, you get to drink one more glass of wine than you should and cry at the drop of a hat. You are allowed to feel pitiful and eat junk food, because let's face it, when the ship is going down, why not have an eclair?" "It doesn't go away, the importance you put on one single person, the value that he had for you, the assumption that you would lie beside him forever; the hope that you had for your union is so great that the loss of it doesn't go away."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mizloo

    I like happy endings. I also like seeing my feminist values affirmed - for some of us it's career first and then - for some of us - house, home, hubby and kids is where it's at. I was a 60's housework-hater who didn't want my mother's life. Isabel Gillies is a 21st Century mom-at-heart. I enjoyed reading about her struggle to figure out how to make her own values work for her and her kids. And I liked watching her finally deal with the lack of self-awareness so apparent in her first book. Despit I like happy endings. I also like seeing my feminist values affirmed - for some of us it's career first and then - for some of us - house, home, hubby and kids is where it's at. I was a 60's housework-hater who didn't want my mother's life. Isabel Gillies is a 21st Century mom-at-heart. I enjoyed reading about her struggle to figure out how to make her own values work for her and her kids. And I liked watching her finally deal with the lack of self-awareness so apparent in her first book. Despite the truly enviable financial and emotional support, her troubles were real, her kids were shell-shocked, and her self-assurance was rocked. The fidelity of her many girlfriends (and men friends) says a lot about her character, while her navigation of the dating wars demonstrated her good humor and developing common sense. That vignette where she set up FaceTime with the (deplorable) ex, to calm her tantrum-y pre-schooler was quite a contrast to her own post-breakup tantrums. I like coming of age stories, too. Isabel finally grew up.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    "A Year and Six Seconds" is Isabel Gillies follow-up memoir to "It Happens Everyday". I loved "It Happens Everyday", Gillies first memoir about living in OH. Living what she deems to be the perfect life, Gillies' husband announces one day, seemingly out of nowhere, he is no longer interested in being married to her, packs up and leaves, leaving Gillies with their 2 young sons. Gillies soon finds out he has fallen in love with another woman. "A Year and Six Seconds" goes into what happens when Gi "A Year and Six Seconds" is Isabel Gillies follow-up memoir to "It Happens Everyday". I loved "It Happens Everyday", Gillies first memoir about living in OH. Living what she deems to be the perfect life, Gillies' husband announces one day, seemingly out of nowhere, he is no longer interested in being married to her, packs up and leaves, leaving Gillies with their 2 young sons. Gillies soon finds out he has fallen in love with another woman. "A Year and Six Seconds" goes into what happens when Gillies and her sons move in with her parents in the very NYC apartment she herself was raised in. Her writing is a candid, honest look at her finding herself. We read along as she picks up the pieces of her broken life. No matter where you are in your life; married, divorced, never married, parent, no children, I guarantee you will nod your head in agreement over many of Gillies' observations of life and relationships.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)

    Isabel Gillies has lived a life and she has written a few books to tell stories. In this book she takes the reader through her separation, divorce and a big move for her and her two young boys to New York City to her parents' apartment. There were moments were this book was hard to read because this is a hard moment in her life, but it was easy to read because the reader knows that she will end up in a good place. It was so interesting to hear her journey and one woman's experience through divor Isabel Gillies has lived a life and she has written a few books to tell stories. In this book she takes the reader through her separation, divorce and a big move for her and her two young boys to New York City to her parents' apartment. There were moments were this book was hard to read because this is a hard moment in her life, but it was easy to read because the reader knows that she will end up in a good place. It was so interesting to hear her journey and one woman's experience through divorce and having two young kids to bring on that journey. To get a real personal inside look into how all of the life changes happening at once and how she responds to it was really interesting to read. I listened to this story/her story and although it isn't narrated by the author I stuck with it and enjoyed it. This is the type of story that I enjoy most on audio, so I am glad that I read it in this way. I want to read more books like this in this way!

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