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Happily Ever After Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I didnt mind it being darker than her other books, but wish that it had more plot to follow. This was the first time with one of her books that I could have put it down and not finished it.
Harriet Evans has a knack for taking well developed characters and putting them in places and situations that are less-than-predictable. That's one of the things I like most about her style. I don't like weak characters who are either hard to imagine or who else go through predictable motions. While I didn't always agree with everything the characters did in this book, I understood them, and could clearly picture each scene as it unfolded. The writing is THAT good.
Another thing about Harriet Evans' books is that one never quite knows what her next book will be like. While she has a distinct voice and writing style, she does not churn out cookie cutter books year after year. Each one is distinct. "Happily Ever After" is no exception. One reviewer as characterized the book as "dark", and it is that. It is gritty, realistic, thought provoking, and of deeper fare than most popular fiction. That said, it's also humourous, engaging, witty, and has its light moments.
The story is based on a young career woman, Eleanor Bee, who gets everything she dreamed of career-wise, only to find she has some soul searching to do. Simple premise, but Evans' analysis and dialogue with little twists and turns in the plot, bring this book to stellar standards. I loved how she began each section of the book with the character in a different stage in her life, then gradually unfolded how she got there.
If you're looking for a light summer read of chick lit fluff fare (and there's nothing wrong with that - I read those types of books too) then this isn't for you. However, if you're looking for top-notch writing with truly solid, intriguing characters, then pick this up. I'm glad I did.
While I typically read a book in one sitting, this book took me a little longer to complete. It's not that this isn't a page turner - it clearly is - but its length (nearly 500 pages) and deeper subject matter required a little more thought. I found myself thinking about the story line and characters for days after I finished reading.
I can hardly wait for Harriet Evans' next book.
What most held me captive as I read this novel, though, was just Eleanor's story: she was very real to me. I am 34, and I could relate so well to Eleanor's progression from a new graduate to focused career woman. She was very three-dimensional, and I couldn't wait to go back and pick up her story each day. (As a career woman myself, I get very little time to read for pleasure.)
I will definitely be recommending Happily Ever After to friends and colleagues, and look forward to reading the author's other novels.
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