Published: August 4th, 2022
Genre: Mystery, Literary Fiction, Lesbian Literature, Satire
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this hilarious, addictive and outrageous novel. Thank you to HQ for the invitation to take part and the gifted hardback.
Bridesmaids meets Black Mirror in the most twisted and entertaining thriller of 2022.
Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood. They’ve been through everything together, from Robin coming out to the death of Ellie’s dad. But when Ellie asks Robin to be her maid of honour, Robin is reluctant.
It’s not that Robin isn’t happy for Ellie, she just hates everything about weddings and marriage – plus the guy Ellie’s engaged to. There’s also the matter of the crazy (not to mention dangerous) wedding rituals that couples are resorting to in the hope of securing a lifetime of happiness.
Despite her misgivings, Robin finally says yes. But as the wedding day approaches, she gets the feeling that everyone in the bridal party is out to get her. And it seems Ellie is willing to do anything for the perfect day. After all, marriage is about sacrifice…
“If you want to know the story of how my best friend and I ended up trying to kill each other, I should probably start with the night she asked me to be her maid of honor.”
Opening with such an ominous and foreboding first line, So Happy For You packs a punch from the start, letting you know that you are about to embark on one of the craziest rides you’ve ever had. I am the first to admit that a book about a crazy bride and a best friend who hates weddings might not seem the ideal read when in the middle of planning my own wedding but I loved this book. Unique, outrageous and wickedly funny, it had me hooked. I liked that while the ending is established immediately there is still a big air of mystery as we have no idea how they get to the point of trying to kill each other or what the outcome is, keeping me guessing until the final page.
“It kind of feels like we’re at the beginning of a darkly comic horror movie.”
Celia Laskey is a skilled storyteller who has crafted a sinister literary thriller with some deeply vulnerable moments intricately woven in. She brings up interesting and timely topics such as feminism, abortion, homosexuality marriage and friendship, exploring them with sensitivity but never shying away from their harsh truths. As the blurb suggests, it is marriage that she delves deepest into, examining the assumption that all women want to be wives and mothers and picking it apart piece by piece: the societal pressure, the sinister side of the institution and the history behind the familiar customs, something I found both fascinating and thought-provoking.
“Years later I would remember this moment and ask myself if Ellie really knew the reason she wanted me as her maid of honor, or if she didn’t decide until later.”
The story is told in the past tense directly to the reader and moves between the events leading up to the wedding and flashbacks that tell the story of Robin and Ellie’s friendship. It is set in an undated future that is so believable it is terrifying. In this reality the government offer incentives for getting married – even organising monthly blind-dates, women are viewed as ‘leftovers’ by the age of twenty-seven and ‘rotten’ by thirty-five, and abortion is severly restricted. Then there’s the wedding charms. These really disturbed me and the lengths some couples would go to in order to try and secure future happiness was frightening. I may want my own wedding to go off without a hitch but I can honestly say I’d never even contemplate such extremes, something I’m sure my guests will be happy to hear!
“Friends didn’t even feel like the right word. It felt like our DNA was tied together in a mess of knots so complete that we wouldn’t be able to untangle it even if we made it our life’s work. At that point in our friendship, it didn’t occur to me that the knots would loosen due to forces beyond our control. “
Robin and Ellie have a very intense but toxic friendship. While neither are really likeable, I did find Robin easy to root for. Witty, cynical, inquisitive and tenacious, she is more vulnerable than she admits and struggles to balance standing up for what she believes with supporting her best friend’s life choices. Our view of Ellie is biased and she is offered up as the traditional villain and I enjoyed seeing our view of her change as Robin began to understand her more. I liked how the author explored the intricacies of friendship through their relationship, asking what it is that makes a good friend, how far we are willing to go for them, and what we are prepared to forgive.
Addictive, unflinching and charged with tension, So Happy For You is a hilarious romp that would be perfect for the big screen. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read and I can’t wait to read more from Ms. Laskey. Highly recommended, just keep it away from any bridezillas 😉
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Celia Laskey is the author of So Happy for You and Under the Rainbow, a finalist for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her other work has appeared in Guernica, The Minnesota Review, Day One, and elsewhere. She has an MFA from the University of New Mexico and currently lives in Los Angeles with her wife and their dog Whiskey.
She enjoys gossiping about closeted celebrities, dissecting Taylor Swift lyrics, singing the praises of probiotics and diva cups, learning the names of plants via an app on her phone, rewatching Mad Men for the 43728th time, and picking up her holds from the library.
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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles 😊Emma xxxx
Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.
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