Book Review: The Things I Do For You – Mary Carter

Title: The Things I Do For You
Author: Mary Carter
ISBN: 9780758253378
Pages: 352
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5


Bailey Jordan is enjoying her new venture as a real estate agent in pricey Manhattan, but when her husband, Brad, is in an accident, she puts her life on hold. Bailey was ready to settle down and start a family with Brad, and though he’s never been able to commit to a singular job or career, always drifting, she thought the time was right. But now, after the accident, Brad is different. He was dead for thirteen minutes after the accident, and somehow that time away has changed him. He begins making decisions without consulting Bailey, deciding to buy a lighthouse on the Hudson River and turning into a B&B. Bailey wants to be supportive, but when is it just too much?


The Things I Do For You is a book about a marriage on the rocks. Bailey and Brad didn’t see eye to eye, even before his accident. They didn’t communicate well, but after his near-death experience, their communication is almost nonexistent. Brad has his own ideas of what his life should be, and doesn’t bother consulting Bailey. He simply expects her to give up the life she’s worked for and dreamed of in order to go along with what he wants. It’s frustrating, to be sure; readers will admire Bailey for putting up with as much as she does.

The most interesting part of The Things I Do For You is Brad’s motives for his decisionmaking. Time and time again, as Brad becomes increasingly erratic, Bailey must question whether he suffered some sort of brain damage during his episode. After all, his brain wasn’t receiving oxygen for thirteen minutes. Though he seems like the same person he was before the accident, it’s also clear that much has changed. Was a part of him injured during that episode? Is that why he’s acting so strange? This line of thought gives the book some depth, and it’s interesting to ponder.

Carter does a great job with her characters, both primary and secondary, in The Things I Do For You. It’s easy to get emotionally invested in Bailey’s story, to feel just as wronged as she does by Brad’s impulse decisions. There are a lot of characters that populate this novel, and Carter makes sure they are each distinct. She gives them their own personalities and ensures that readers know each one of them intimately. The characters are really what make the book, so it’s great to see how much care Carter took with each of them.

If you’re looking for a quick, satisfying read that will have you emotionally involved, The Things I Do For You is a great choice. At times, readers may want to reach into the book and shake some sense into Brad, but it’s great to see how the novel unfolds. There are also some interesting details about lighthouses; anyone interested in learning a little bit while settling into an effortless read should definitely consider this book.

Other books by Mary Carter:

The Pub Across the Pond

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