Twenty years ago, Abigail Sorenson’s brother Robert went missing one day before her sixteenth birthday, never to be seen again. That same year, she began receiving scattered chapters in the mail from a mysterious guidebook, whose anonymous authors promised to make her life soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams.

These missives have remained a constant in Abi’s life – a befuddling yet oddly comforting voice through her family’s grief over her brothers disappearance, a move across continents, the devastating dissolution of her marriage, and the new beginning as a single mother and cafe owner in Sydney.

Now, two decades after receiving those first pages, Abi is invited to learn ‘the truth’ about the book. It’s an opportunity too intriguing to refuse – she believes its absurdity and her brothers disappearance must be connected. What follows is an entirely unexpected journey of discovery that will change Abi’s life – and enchant readers.


This is one of those books that is so full of all the emotions, love, loss. The writing is beautiful, so descriptive, there are some humorous moments.

Abigail Sorensen’ s brother disappeared the night before Abi’s 16th birthday, she had sat waiting for him to come home, as they had a ritual they did at midnight as her birthday started, but he didn’t come home, why? What happened to him?

Twenty years later Abi has a failed marriage, her parents had divorced, she has a beautiful son Oscar and has her own business a cafe she named The Happiness Cafe,

She has been receiving chapters of a book called “The Guidebook” these chapters have been arriving since 1990 and Abi believe’s the hold the answers to the disappearance of her brother. So when she is invited to an all expenses trip to an island to learn the “truth” about “The Guidebook” and it’s author, she jumps at it. But when there with other’s who have also been receiving the same chapters, she is not sure what is happening, only so many of the group will pass some kind of test and receive the final chapter. But when they get that chapter it’s a disappointment.

But when Abi returns home, she begins to re-evaluate her life,she begins looking at self help books, over the next year Abi starts to really grow, there are some amusing bits in here, but Abi is finally finding herself, she had wondered if it was her fault that Robert had disappeared. We learn of the loss of her brother, her failed marriage, her family, and her cafe. Along with all the emotions that go along with all these things.

This is a very well crafted piece of writing, that will either appeal to some or not. It’s quite an unpredictable book, with some twists, as we gradually see Abi’s life move on, you may laugh, and cry. It is a strange plot, totally different from anything I have ever read before, but because of the prose, you just find yourself turning the pages, until there are no more to turn. There are some great characters some totally wacky, but unique in their wackiness. As we start to reach the end of the book the answers Abi has been looking for each part comes together at the end.

This is a book that makes you think, it’s the first adult novel by Jaclyn Moriarty and for me it was unlike anything else I have ever read, but in a good way. I enjoyed this.

I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

I would like to thank #KirstyDoole and #Allen&Unwin for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair,honest and unbiased review. I will certainly be looking out for the next book by this author.

Available from January 2nd 2020

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