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Happiness Key Paperback – July 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778326608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778326601
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,192,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A divorcée is handed a swath of Gulf Coast Florida real estate in Richards's slow if involving latest. After Tracy Deloche's ex-husband lands in federal prison, she takes control of his Happiness Key development, which consists mostly of a handful of ramshackle cottages. Her tenants—Wanda Gray, Janya Kapur, Alice Brooks and Herb Krause—are misfits, but when Herb dies, Tracy goes on a quest to find his family that ends up forcing her to bond with her tenants in ways she never thought possible. In the meantime, the mismatched crew learns that in helping each other, they are really helping themselves. This quintessential beach read is full of intrigue, romance, comedy and a splash of mystery, and while it could be shorter and faster paced, the women at its center—and the problems they face—are fully believable. They deserve a better plot. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Emilie Richards’s many novels feature complex characterizations and in-depth explorations of social issues, a result of her training and experience as a family counselor, which contribute to her fascination with relationships of all kinds. Emilie, a mother of four, lives with her husband in northern Virginia, where she is currently working on her next novel for MIRA Books.

More About the Author

I'm the author of 70 something novels. I find relationships fascinating and write about them no matter what genre I'm exploring at the moment.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 50 customer reviews
This is wonderful book about unlikely friendships between four women.
Gramma Bubbles
I struggled through the first 100 or so pages, but as I read on the story really grabbed me and I ended up really enjoying this book.
Amanda
I've read lots of Emily Richards' books but this one is my absolute favorite.
JTS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J Dubb on July 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book explores the relationships of women. In the begining each woman has her own reservations, prejudices and impressions of the other women that live in their tiny group of homes on the sound. It is perfect in the way Emilie Richards was able to capture the true essence of how women think, including the fears that can make us seem unapproachable at times. As the women begin to let down their guard the relationships blossom into something very precious and also very needed. I found this book to be helpful in the way that I view relationships with the women who come and go in my life and to realize how important those relationships can be. This story was good, a real page turner, but I walked away with so much more. Every woman should read this to not only see herself but also other women and how misunderstood many of our actions can be. Excellent book, a must have.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nancy C. Lepri on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
When rich socialite Tracy Deloche learns her con artist husband CJ has been convicted and headed for prison, she leaves her posh LA life for Florida. All she has left is an almost worthless piece of oceanfront property with dilapidated cottages that she somehow "inherited" from CJ. Tracy is determined to sell the land to a developer so she can have enough to rebuild her life and put her bad history behind her. Unfortunately a group of naturalists are out to keep the land pristine and unspoiled by development. As Tracy settles into her new life, she determines she will not socialize with her tenants who consist of elderly Herb Krause, middle-aged, sharp tongued, Wanda Gray, young foreign bride, Janya Kapur or grandmother Alice Brooks, who lost her daughter and is now being taken care of by her son-in-law, Lee Symington and young granddaughter Olivia. Tracy goes to each cottage to collect rent, hoping she can scrape together enough money for her next meal. What she finds is her tenant Wanda with an attitude problem, having set her sights that Tracy is a spoiled rich girl; Janya who is timid, but friendly, and at Alice's home, she finds herself attracted to her widower son-in-law, Lee. When she gets no response at Herb's, she is concerned, for his car is in the drive. Asking for Janya's help, they enter his cottage and find the man dead in bed. His death is the catalyst that brings the women together in a search for his next of kin. The unlikely group soon become friends and though they are different in many ways, they are vulnerable and in need of each other's friendship.

Tracy commits to a part-time job at the local community center and gets Janya and Alice involved there too.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Following the incarceration of her former spouse in a federal pen Tracy Deloche takes over managing his property Happiness Key. However, she is shocked to find the five Gold Coast acres contains five dilapidated shacks with a tenant in four of the beach cottages; she moves into the vacant one. Her renters are an eccentric group of seemingly losers. Still she tries to be nice to the oddball runaways who pay to lease a dump from her. Wanda Gray is fleeing a broken marriage; Janya Kapur is fleeing an arranged family marriage before she must wed; Alice Brooks is a widow who is becoming increasingly forgetful but does not want her son-in-law and granddaughter living with her; and the only male is hermit Herb Krause.

When Herb dies, Tracy leads the other three women in search of his family so they will know and if they want to arrange his funeral. As the four seemingly different women forge friendships on their mission, they begin to help one another.

This is an interesting character study focusing on four diverse females who come together when the fifth person in their tiny community dies. The storyline is well written but the plot extremely thin. Still Emilie Richards enables the audience to get inside the fearsome foursome females enabling us to understand what motivates them to "hide" at dumpy Happiness Key and yet turn these five single dumps into a community.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sara F. Freer on September 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always loved Richards' books but even though this was an enjoyable read I did not think it was up to her usual standards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kiwi on June 27, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
the story was simple, not very deep at all. i don't want to get real deep, but a little thought provocation would be nice. it was a doable read but certainly put-downable.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Happiness Key is an area of undeveloped/unspoiled Florida coast that is owned by Tracy Deloche. Tracy finds herself owning this little bit of paradise after her wheeler/dealer husband is caught in illegal activity and ends up in jail. The couple is divorced and Tracy finds her high- living, celebrity-filled days are long gone and she moved across the country to live in one of the handful of older cottages on the Key. Happiness Key has the potential to bring Tracy enough money to relieve her financial worries if only she can find a developer interesting in fighting the Wild Florida preservation group who is adamantly opposed to the untouched area being developed. The four other original cottages are rented out to various people whom Tracy gets to know over the course of the novel and the main focus is the relationships that develop between four of the women.

I absolutely loved "Whiskey Island" by this author and was eager to read another book by her. As I read the first 80 pages or so, I found myself a bit disappointed since it wasn't grabbing me like "Whiskey Island" did. Knowing how much I enjoyed the other novel (and knowing I had plunked down hard-earned money for this one) I stayed with it and I found my opinion changing over time. It takes a while for the characters to be introduced in the beginning and I think that is what I initially found frustrating. It was just a bit jerky and slow. Once the baseline had been set and the character development began, I was quickly caught up in the story and enjoyed it immensely. This is not a deep character study or huge introspective novel but, in addition to being entertaining, there are a few life lessons thrown into the mix which make it more than just sugary fluff.

By the time I finished, I was sad it was over and the next book is now purchased and sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
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