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The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson - Excerpt

The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson - Excerpt

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3.87

(41)
|Views: 2,911 |Likes:
What if you were married to a wonderful husband for twenty-eight years but in love with another man? What if you were in love with them both?

Annabelle McKay knows she shouldn’t have any complaints. She’s been in a stable marriage that’s lasted almost three decades and has provided her with two wonderful children, thousands of family dinners around a sturdy oak table, and a husband so devoted that he schedules lovemaking into his calendar every Wednesday morning. Other wives envy the fact that Grant is not the type of man who would ever cheat on her or leave her for a younger woman. The trouble is Annabelle isn’t sure she wants to be married to Grant anymore. The trouble is she’s still in love with someone else.

In the early tumultuous years of her marriage, Annabelle carried on a clandestine affair with the one person whose betrayal would hurt her husband the most. When it ended, she and Grant found their way back together and made a pact that they would never speak of that time again. But now years later, with her children grown and gone, and an ominous distance opening between them, she can’t help but remember those glorious, passionate days and wonder if she chose the right man.

Then, when called to New York City to help care for her pregnant daughter, Annabelle bumps into her old lover. Offered a second chance at an unforgettable love, she must decide between the man who possesses her heart and the husband who has stood squarely by her side. A journey into the what-ifs that haunt us all, The Stuff That Never Happened is an intricate, heartfelt examination of modern marriage that brims with truths about the nature of romantic love.

To read more about Maddie Dawson and The Stuff That Never Happened please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpubishing.com.
What if you were married to a wonderful husband for twenty-eight years but in love with another man? What if you were in love with them both?

Annabelle McKay knows she shouldn’t have any complaints. She’s been in a stable marriage that’s lasted almost three decades and has provided her with two wonderful children, thousands of family dinners around a sturdy oak table, and a husband so devoted that he schedules lovemaking into his calendar every Wednesday morning. Other wives envy the fact that Grant is not the type of man who would ever cheat on her or leave her for a younger woman. The trouble is Annabelle isn’t sure she wants to be married to Grant anymore. The trouble is she’s still in love with someone else.

In the early tumultuous years of her marriage, Annabelle carried on a clandestine affair with the one person whose betrayal would hurt her husband the most. When it ended, she and Grant found their way back together and made a pact that they would never speak of that time again. But now years later, with her children grown and gone, and an ominous distance opening between them, she can’t help but remember those glorious, passionate days and wonder if she chose the right man.

Then, when called to New York City to help care for her pregnant daughter, Annabelle bumps into her old lover. Offered a second chance at an unforgettable love, she must decide between the man who possesses her heart and the husband who has stood squarely by her side. A journey into the what-ifs that haunt us all, The Stuff That Never Happened is an intricate, heartfelt examination of modern marriage that brims with truths about the nature of romantic love.

To read more about Maddie Dawson and The Stuff That Never Happened please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpubishing.com.

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Publish date: Aug 3, 2010
Added to Scribd: Aug 26, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/21/2013

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Shaye Areheart Books 
New York
The Stuff ThatNeverHappened
A Novel
MaddieDawson
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are theproduct of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance toactual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.Copyright © 2010 by Maddie DawsonAll rights reserved.Published in the United States by Shaye Areheart Books, an imprint of theCrown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.www.crownpublishing.comShaye Areheart Books with colophon is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataDawson, Maddie.The stuff that never happened : a novel / Maddie Dawson.—1st ed.p. cm.1. Married people—Fiction. 2. Triangles (Interpersonal relations)—Fiction. 3. Cuckolds—Fiction. 4. Domestic fiction. I. Title.PS3604.A9795S78 2010813'.6dc22 2009035945ISBN 978-0-307-39367-8Printed in the United States of America
design by barbara sturman
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1First Edition

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knittingmomof3 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
The Stuff That Never Happened by Maddie Dawson is an artfully crafted story of Annabelle McKay, a wife and mother who, by outside accounts, has all the reasons to relish in her life. But Annabelle, after her two children were grown and moved from home, begins to think of days long past when she, in the very first years of her marriage to Grant, had a secret affair. Exploring the emotions invoked when pondering how things may have been under different circumstances, Dawson tempts readers through the well-crafted thoughts and feelings that Annabelle experiences, especially when a chance encounter brings her face-to-face with her love of past years. The emotional range of this story is enough to keep fiction fans entranced by the choices made long ago by one woman, the rebirth of opportunity as the path not taken reopens before her, and the ultimate decision she faces at this new crossroads.Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Stuff That Never Happened through the Amazon VINE Program, for review.
sunnydrk reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The writer does a great job of making you feel like you are in the situation. However, at times she is quite wordy when it is not needed (almost like she couldn't tell if she wanted to be thought-provoking or entertaining). If she had picked one or the other this book would have been much better.
bookbets50 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I loved this book ...I had been pretty tired of the various "women's fiction" titles I had started lately but this book goes far beyond that label. Annabelle and Grant's marriage is the primary focus but also the author brings in the empty nest issue, infidelity, mid-life crises, preoccupation with work-and many other themes and issues that all tie in together and all make sense. I am very glad I read this novel.
wendytrim reviewed this
Loved it! For various reasons....check this one out for sure.
livelylady reviewed this
Rated 5/5
The tale of a marriage, its good times and bad, told in the past and then back to the future where the birth of the first grandbaby is imminent. This is a story of paths not taken, of "what ifs" and of "thank God." Very, very good story, and well written. Loved the story and character portrayals.
verka6811 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Annabelle has been married to Grant McKay for two decades – happily married for most. They’ve made a life for themselves in New Hampshire and raised two children; Nick is a freshman in college and Sophie is living in New York City with her husband. But every now and then, Annabelle falls into the trap of remembering Jeremiah, the man she had an affair with at the start of her marriage and has continued to love. She made a promise to Grant to never speak of the affair or of Jeremiah. But as her husband withdraws more and more into his work, Annabelle begins to feel that the true relationship in her life is one that she imagines with Jeremiah, whom she has not seen in over twenty years.When a sudden family emergency leads Annabelle to New York, she is immersed in the memories of the years she spent there – of being a newlywed newly transplanted from California, of learning the ropes of the city, and most importantly, of the passion she shared with Jeremiah.The city has changed, but Annabelle finds herself face to face with Jeremiah in a store the two used to visit together. The relationship she has nurtured in her mind has a chance of becoming a reality, and Annabelle must deal with the ramifications of the past she has pretended to ignore for so long.Longing for the one that got away is a common theme in literature, but Maddie Dawson writes with a particular honesty that makes the characters very real and convincing. The Stuff That Never Happened alternates between the present and the past, when the affair took place, but the flashbacks only add to the understanding of the characters and their motivations.I loved every minute of The Stuff That Never Happened! Dawson’s writing was like gulps of water after a salty meal – I could not get enough of the longing, the complicated ties between the characters, and the realizations that sometimes the scenarios that we build up in our heads are never as good as they seem.
shazjhb reviewed this
Interesting book. Good character development.
readingrebecca reviewed this
Rated 5/5
The author had me in the first two paragraphs of The Stuff That Never Happened. When Annabelle McKay, the narrator of the story, began crying in the supermarket, not sure why she was, but conjecturing it could have been because it was February in New Hampshire, I knew I was going to enjoy this story. I’ve spent many, many winters in New England and I know that feeling of February—that mind numbing, bone chilling, nothing to see but ice everywhere—I knew there was a reason to cry in the supermarket.But there is so much more to this story. Annabelle has been married for many years and her children have flown the nest. Now it’s just her and her husband in the house. And her husband is very involved in writing a book, so he has very little time for anything but his writing. Suddenly Annabelle is called to New York City to stay with her daughter who is pregnant and having difficulties with the pregnancy. Annabelle sees this as a time to not only help her daughter, but reflect on her marriage. I was treated to stories of the present and the past, back when Annabelle first met Grant, back in the 1970s.I loved this story. The characters were so fully developed, I felt I knew them. I don’t remember any other book that had me practically talking out loud to Annabelle, giving her unsolicited advice and chiding her for things she did say and things she didn’t say. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in a long term relationship, anyone who has felt somewhat dissatisfied and wondered if it was all worth it. This is a story well told with characters that seem real, as if they were your next door neighbors.
bermudaonion_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
When Annabelle and Grant got married, they really didn’t know each other all that well. They moved across the country and lived with another young couple and their two children. Something happens in those early years that will haunt their marriage for the rest of their lives. Rather than talk about it, Grant makes Annabelle agree to never mention it again, and in effect, pretend that it never happened. On the surface, that seems to work – they move to New Hampshire, raise two children and seem to have a happy life. But, once the children are grown and out of the house, Annabelle finds that she can’t let go of the past.The Stuff that Never Happened by Maddie Dawson is a quiet, introspective novel told from Annabelle’s point of view. The story alternates between the past, when the event happened, and the present day, when the repercussions of pretending it never occurred take place. It’s a powerful book about life and love and living with decisions you’ve made in the past.Even though I’ve never done what Annabelle did, I found myself relating to her. She was trying to live with a mistake she made in her past, but she was never really able to move past it. She was able to keep it out of her mind while she was busy raising children, but once they were out of the house, she found herself almost obsessing over it. She thinks “maybe this is common. Perhaps the whole human race goes around with an ache like this.”Dawson does such a good job writing the characters, I could sympathize with Grant and understand his side of things, too. He adored Annabelle and was willing to forgive her, as long as they never spoke of the event that happened again – it was just too painful for him to face. He found himself involved in a project after the children left home, so he didn’t realize the despair Annabelle was going through.Both characters frustrated me at times, too. I think that’s part of what made the book so fascinating and compelling for me – I didn’t think either one was totally without fault. I was hoping they’d work things out, though, and I found myself rooting for them and wishing they’d make the right decisions along the way.I thoroughly enjoyed The Stuff That Never Happened and found it to be a fascinating study of the relationships (between spouses as well as children) in a marriage that has suffered in the past. Fans of women’s literature won’t want to miss this book!

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