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Happiness Sold Separately [Kindle Edition]

Lolly Winston
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

The New York Times bestseller about how marriage, love, and how sometimes falling in love with the wrong person at the wrong time can be the right thing. Elinor Mackey has lived her life in perfect order: college, law school, marriage, successful corporate career. But when she discovers that she and her podiatrist husband, Ted, can't have children, Elinor withdraws into her own world of heartbreak and anger. While Elinor
falls in love with the oak tree in their front yard, sleeping under it at night, Ted begins an affair with Gina, the nutritionist at their gym. Ted, who may be the only one who can help Gina and her son, suddenly finds himself in love with two women at the same time. In the tradition of Anne Tyler, John Cheever, and Tom Perrotta, Winston's second novel looks beyond the manicured surface of suburbia to a world of loss, longing, lust, and betrayal.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The marriage of Ted and Elinor Mackey, a yuppie podiatrist-lawyer couple in their early-40s living in Northern California, is pushed to the brink when Elinor learns that Ted is having an affair with his trainer, Gina Ellison. Elinor's reaction—pity—surprises her. Winston (Good Grief) adroitly makes it clear that Ted's affair is a symptom: infertility problems have caused years of emotional turmoil. And Gina's no bimbo: she has a loving but difficult relationship with Ted, complicated further by her young son, Toby, and his immediate attachment to Ted as a stable father figure. When Elinor confronts Ted and Gina, Ted quickly ends the affair; neither is sure if infidelity or infertility should end their marriage. During their separation, Elinor takes a sabbatical from her law firm and casually dates Noah Orch, a hunky but dull arborist. Ted haphazardly resumes his relationship with Gina. As he realizes that his connection to her is more than an escape from a bad marriage, all concerned have decisions to make. Winston has a real feel for the push and pull of a marriage in crisis, and delivers it in a brisk, funny, no-nonsense style that still comes off as respectful of the material. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

After tackling the topic of sudden loss in her debut novel, Good Grief (***1/2 July/Aug 2004), Winston turns her attention to infertility and infidelity and addresses these two very sensitive subjects with kindness and grace. Though critics agree that the novel isn't earthshaking in either content or style, they find much to praise in Winston's thoughtful portrayals of the too-often-clichéd philandering husband, lonely wife, and needy mistress, as well as the descriptions of tender moments between Ted and Elinor even as they pragmatically "outsource" their sex life to fertility doctors and their love life to therapists. Reviewers cite Happiness as both a good book-club selection and an enjoyable solo read.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 444 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0446533068
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (August 8, 2006)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000MAH6A0
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,340 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt and Compassionate August 8, 2006
After two years of failed fertility treatments, Elinor and Ted Mackey have grown apart, becoming more like roommates than spouses. Elinor, a corporate attorney, likes to hide in the laundry room, where the cycling machines soothe frayed nerves. Ted, a podiatrist, spends his spare time working out at the health club--and seeing his fitness trainer on the side.

Elinor is at a loss when she overhears Ted talking on the phone with someone named Gina. When the truth comes out, everyone involved has to figure out the next step. Still in some form of love with his wife, Ted promises to break up with Gina. Sometimes life intrusions make promises hard to keep.

With Elinor's expectations of married life shattered, everyone involved will be forced to examine what is right and wrong, not just in life, but for them as individuals. Ted and Gina are given significant voice during this painful process. As a result, readers will be asked to look up on Gina with empathy, perhaps even a little understanding, in spite of her role as "the other woman."

Each perspective is lovingly detailed, exposing the strengths and weaknesses of each character. All three of the main players are compelling. Rather than detracting from the flow and pacing of the story, the inclusion of all three characters is smoothly done.

Ultimately, this is Elinor's story. As she moves through the roles of successful professional, to frustrated fertility patient, and finally to a new place in her life, Elinor will learn that happiness is never guaranteed, but "sold separately."

This is a great rainy-day novel. Curl up in a chair in order to appreciate the wide range of emotions present in this extraordinarily normal story. It's a great peek into a situation little understood by those who have not endured it.

Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful second novel... August 14, 2006
Wow!! Lolly Winston proves that her wonderful debut GOOD GRIEF was no fluke with the excellent HAPPINESS SOLD SEPARATELY.

It's been ages since I've read a book that I literally could not put down, having read all but the first 30 pages of this one in one sitting. I found Elinor, Ted and Gina to be wonderfully written characters. They are likable, frustrating, annoying, selfish, needy and sad. Very real characters with very real human emotions. I was definitely in Elinor's corner throughout the story. While her withdrawing from Ted was not a good thing, I understood what she was going through and felt she deserved better. Ted is the character I had the most problem with. Clearly he is a man who seems to want his cake and eat it too. He is unbelievably selfish and I was hoping Gina would eventually see this.

I have one small complaint about the book and that is the character of Toby. He is a supremely annoying child and I never felt a great deal of sympathy for him because of it. I also was never quite sure what led him to believe Ted was such a great guy. Was it because Ted talked politely to him one night at a resturant? I needed a little more than that to understand the connection.

Wintson does a great job of telling this story, and even throws a few curves just to shake things up. As for the reviewer who was unhappy with the "no resolution" ending, I'm sorry to say that that is often what life is like, sometimes there is no resolution and sometimes the resolution is not one we would like. Lolly Winston understands that and has written an excellent book to prove it. Enjoy!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing by the end August 27, 2007
I loved Good Grief and grabbed this as soon as I saw it on the book shelf. At first I savored it because Winston's writing is EXCELLENT and I did laugh out loud a few times (as I did in Good Grief) but I found, like another reader, that I just didn't care about these characters.

The kid, in particular, bugged me. He's sneaky and manipulative and the adults tell him entirely too much stuff, especially at the end. The conversations with this kid go on entirely too long. He's never disciplined and it just drove me crazy after a while and became a huge distraction for me.

The adults did not fare much better as far as I am concerned. I didn't really like any of them by the end. I started the book with high hopes but about 3/4 of the way through I realized I really didn't care what happened to any of them. The ending was a good one which is tough to pull off in a book like this when so much needs to be resolved but the characters just didn't do it for me.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected .... August 17, 2007
I picked this book up among several others to go through "lighter reading" for the next few weeks. I thought this one was a comedy but it's not. It is actually a well-written look into infidelity and infertility. The only reason why I gave it a three star is because it's not my favorite book ~~ it was entertaining. It was well-written. It was funny in spots, but it's just didn't leave me sighing at the end and wish for more. It is just an entertaining novel.

There are several characters in here ~~ the main character, Elinor, who suffered two years of infertility treatments and is depressed, only to find out her husband is having an affair with his training instructor at the local gym, Gina. Gina has a son, Toby, who is awfully nosey. Their lives all intersect till the climatic ending. The characters all reflect every day normal people caught up in the motion of their lives and actions. And frankly, none of them are that likeable. Elinor was too self-absorbed. Ted is too wimpy to make up his mind. Toby is annoying. Gina is too perfect. But that's what makes the novel move.

It is a good indepth look though in marriage, lack of communication when things start going wrong and why things fall apart and people move into affairs. It's also a good lesson when Elinor finally realizes that happiness is not guaranteed ~~ too bad that it has taken her till her 40s to learn that and only at the end.

If you're looking for something lighter to read ~~ this one would be a good start. It's perfect like one reviewer said, for a rainy afternoon cozy on the chair.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars I am so tired of books about terrible marriages and infidelity
Eek. I am so tired of books about terrible marriages and infidelity. Can no one in a book have a good marriage? It is so disappointing and cliche. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Blueeyedshook
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprise me
This isn't my usual type of read, but surprisingly, it was good. Kept me entertained! It did peek my interest and kept me wondering what next. Great read!
Published 5 months ago by Martha Dauterive
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly Good
I liked this book because the author does a good job of making the characters seem just as real and complex as people are in real life. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amanda L. Davis
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much more
I love books. I read ALL the time. I will read the back of cereal boxes if nothing else is there. I am NOT a picky or hyper critical reader. Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. Jordan
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
I bought this book because I enjoyed Good Grief. This kept my interest but I liked the other much better.
Published 14 months ago by Mary H.
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like this book...
...but I really couldn't like this book. The first 25 pages were great, at least. After that, it fell apart. Read more
Published 17 months ago by E. Whitesitt
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
Hadn't read any of Lolly Winston before and was laughing/crying all the way through.Very true to life.Thanks for the good service.
Published 17 months ago by Linda B
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as other books by this author
I have really enjoyed other books by this same author. This one just didn't hit a home run for me. The writing seemed different, and the story line bored me.
Published 21 months ago by Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Where Again Is the Happiness?
This book was such a mis-mash of themes that I only pushed myself to finish it because I had paid for it. Read more
Published on August 5, 2012 by Leashad
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
I highly recommend this book. It had me laughing out loud, and crying at times, and noting down so many true words about grief and widowhood. Read more
Published on March 21, 2012 by KeenReader
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