Friday, May 24, 2024

Book Review: Happy Place

By Becky Gulc

‘Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.

They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?’ (Synopsis courtesy of Emily Henry's website.)

Every December/January I love seeing everyone’s top books of the year on social media. Emily Henry’s book Happy Place certainly made many ‘top’ lists last year so it quickly became one of many books I added to my TBR list for this year. I wasn’t familiar with Emily’s novels at the time but they certainly all looked like my cup of tea!

This is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that sucks you completely into not only Harriet and Wyn’s (now complex) relationship, but also the relationships between this group of long standing friends. The narrative works really well, switching between the ‘now’ whilst the group are enjoying this last getaway to Maine cottage, a place which means so much to everyone, and the ‘then’, Harriet and Wyn’s back story. 

The love and connection Harriet and Wyn have leaps off the page throughout, both in the then and now, which keeps the reader questioning why on earth these two ever broke up in the first place. I definitely got frustrated at some points as I just wanted to know what had happened between them and I was eager for them to reconcile! 

I enjoyed the bond between Harriet, Sabrina and Cleo and how their relationships evolve over the novel. The novel is great at exploring how long standing friendships can shift over time; as people grow and get busy with their own lives; yet still remaining fundamentally important to one another. The novel seems realistic of how relationships evolve as we go through life and at some point serious discussions about the workings of these relationships need to be had!  

Overall this was a very enjoyable read and I’ll certainly be reading more of Emily Henry’s work.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.

Listen to this book on Speechify!

No comments: