Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review: Secrets to Happiness

By Melissa Amster


When I first dug in to "Secrets to Happiness," I had to question whether or not Sarah Dunn had been reading my e-mails between my best friend and myself. It seemed like everything one of us had said was written out word for word. This alone says how observant Ms. Dunn is when coming up with realistic sounding conversations.

"Secrets to Happiness" is about several New Yorkers and their quest for romantic, spiritual or even career-based satisfaction. The story starts with Holly and expands to some of her friends and acquaintances, as well as an ex-boyfriend. While Holly's quest for happiness involves a sick dog and a much younger lover, others embark on having affairs or dating people completely different from what they're used to.

The dialogue and situations in this story remind me of a cross between "Seinfeld" and "Sex and the City." There are some fun and even sweet parts that make this story a worthwhile read. However, I felt that other things could have been left out, such as a secondary character having their own story, which wasn't really necessary to move the plot along or some spiritual conversations that bordered on heavy and morose after a while.

Ms. Dunn creates some clever banter between her characters and gives almost all of them a realistic feel, making this an interesting and engaging story overall. I even feel like she was able to nicely tie up loose ends for all the characters, even for the one that didn't fit into the story as well as the others. I'd definitely be interested in reading more of her novels.

1 comment:

Meg said...

Sounds like one I would enjoy, and I love the cover!