The Stuff That Never Happened: A Novel by Maddie Dawson (Broadway; $14.00; 336 pages)
The Stuff That Never Happened, written by Maddie Dawson, is a fascinating story that presents a realistic view of the challenges and trials of love, passion, and loyalty within a long-term, modern-day marriage.
The truth is much more complicated. The truth is that I’m actually in love with another man.
Annabelle shares the story of her lovely life raising her children in New Hampshire amongst her loyal, dedicated husband Grant, while building lifelong memories with family and friends. Yet now that the children are grown and gone and Grant is distracted and distant as he dedicates all of his time to writing a novel, she consumes her times dreaming of a man from her past. Then, by chance, she comes across her former lover and has to make the decision of whether to stay with the man she married, or take a chance with the one she desires.
Maybe we’re all dreaming of a person from the tantalizing past who sits there, uninvited, watching from the edge of our consciousness, somebody you find packing up and moving out of your head just as you’re waking in the morning, and whose essence clings to you all day as though you have spent the night with him, wandering off together somewhere among the stars…
Joseph’s Reviews recently interviewed the author and after reading her responses, I found her to be down to earth, warm and fun. Her story is told in a similar light-hearted tone with elements of humor and wit intertwined with enjoyable eclectic characters and flowing dialogue. I felt the same connectedness reading about Maddie Dawson as I did with her main character, Annabelle.
The deep characterization of this novel highlights the themes of passion, love, dedication and forgiveness that bring the characters to life and challenge the reader to wonder if the grass is truly greener on the other side and whether the consequences are worth the grazing.
I look forward to reading future novels from Maddie Dawson.