Mama Magazin
25. Mai 2016

Happily – Book Review 🇬🇧

A lovely, modern novel challenging the idea of settling down.
A lovely, modern novel challenging the idea of settling down.

I decided to do a book review for a change this week and it was a good decision. Being „forced“ to read a book for blog purposes meant that I actually took the time to do it. The lovely Sophie Tanner sent me a review copy over and I spent three evenings happily absorbed in another world. Happily’s blurb describes the story as:

‚ a cheeky, original and light-heartedly subversive tale that challenges the notion of ‘settling down’.

The book revolves around Chloe, a young woman who is very happy in her life and her single status and sick of being asked when she will settle down and marry. She gets so frustrated after being asked this questions many times by friends and family, that she announces she will marry herself.

I enjoyed the book for three main reasons. Firstly, because I am probably the opposite of Chloe and therefore one of the nags and bores who are intent on seeing her settle down. I am settled and have house, husband, kids and dog etc., so it was interesting to see it from another point of view. I must admit it made me think back to my happy single days but not in a sad, wistful way, but in a way that made me cheer on Chloe as she planned to make this statement of contentment with her life as it was.

Second, I really enjoyed the descriptions of the scenery and the characters. The book does begin in a bit of a Bridget Jones‘ style which made me inwardly groan, but it gets going and the people closest to Chloe have well developed characters and natural dialogue so that it develops a style of its own. By the end you cannot help but be involved with the fate of the characters and I was desperate each night to find out how the story was going to continue.

Lastly, but probably most importantly, as a mum of two girls I adored the idea of my daughters being so happy with themselves that they would show this to the world. I have read a few articles about families who have thrown a „coming of age“ party for their teenage girls as a real positive affirmation of the girls they are and the women they will become. This book reminded me of this and I am now already planning a celebration for my two little ladies when the time comes.

My criticism of the book would be the beginning, which is a little wooden and as a person from the other side of the dialogue (i.e settled down), I have to say that I don’t bang on at my single friends about their love life or boyfriends, it’s not tactful. They do not ask me about my sex life either! We are not all moaning bores who live vicariously through our single friends. However as I said before, once you get further into this book, the dialogues come alive and it felt authentic. My last thought is that I’m not sure how I feel about the end. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I am still debating about whether I like it, but then I suppose that’s life, things happen sometimes when you least expect or plan it.

You can get the book on your Kindle for a mere $1.56 here. A lovely summer read.

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