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.