I Liked My Life and Maddy the Meddler

 

I know you’ve already heard the news this week: Abby Fabiaschi’s novel, I Liked My Life, dropped into book stores yesterday! We are so excited for Abby – and for readers who get to devour her debut novel just like all of us at the Debutante Ball did.

I Liked My Life opens with Maddy, recently deceased, looking down upon her daughter Eve and husband Brady and doing everything in power to influence them as they try to move forward in their lives. First and foremost, she wants to find a replacement mom and wife for her family, and she tries everything she can to make this happen from the great beyond.

If you are like me, you might find yourself trying to give the narrator a little pep talk. It’d go something like this: “Dear Maddy, you are gone, and you cannot influence your family’s life, and it’s on them to find their own way. Love, a devoted reader.” But of course you don’t say those things because Maddy is so likeable and her plight so tragic, and otherwise, of course you’d be talking to words on a page.

Confession: I can be just like Maddy. I’m stubborn and I want the best for the people I love and I can’t stand it when I can’t influence their fates. (Can you say: meddler?!) It’s not that I think I know better than my friends do, it’s that I think sometimes when you are on the outside looking in (or up above looking down, as in Maddy’s case), you can see things a little more clearly. I routinely find myself needing to bite my tongue when it comes to giving friends advice on everything from relationships to financial choices and even vacation ideas.

Can’t we all be that way? Don’t you ever find yourself attempting to influence and meddle in things that are not at all your business? (Do me a solid and just answer “yes” so that I don’t have to feel like a horrible person!)

That line I wrote above, about characters being on their own to find their way? Ultimately that’s true for all of us. Just like my friends and loved ones have the privilege of making their own choices, so do the characters in Abby’s novel. (Sorry, Maddy!)

Great novels make us relate – even when are life circumstances aren’t anything like the narrator’s. I Liked My Life is great, indeed.

I fell in love with I Liked My Life because I fell in love with the characters: Maddy, Brady, and Eve. It’s a rich story that stayed with me even all of these months later.

Biggest congratulations to Abby Fabiaschi on what she calls, her dream-come-true day!

 

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Lynn Hall is a memoirist, activist in the movement to end sexual violence, ultra-runner, and crazy cat lady. Her memoir, CAGED EYES: AN AIR FORCE CADET’S STORY OF RAPE AND RESILIENCE, was published by Beacon Press in February 2017. Her writing has previously appeared in the New York Times, The LA Times, Hippocampus Magazine, The Sexual Assault Report, The Manifest-Station, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and elsewhere. In the summers, Lynn copes with publication anxiety by spending too many days in the Colorado mountains, and in the winters, with pans of brownies. She lives in Boulder with her partner and their 23 cats. Just kidding…she only has five.

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