Title: Something Like Happy by Eva Woods
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
With wry wit and boundless heart, Eva Woods delivers an unforgettable tale of celebrating triumphs great and small, seizing the day, and always remembering to live in the moment.
“It’s simple, really. You’re just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be little things. Could be big. In fact, we’re doing one right now…”
Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she’d once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.
Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn’t want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it’s that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…
One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey that will force her to open herself to new experiences—and perhaps even new love with the unlikeliest of men—Annie will slowly begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, there’s still joy to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking.
Something Like Happy by Eva Woods is an emotionally compelling, poignant yet uplifting novel that is quite memorable.
Thirty-five year old Annie Hebden has suffered tremendous loss and heartache in recent years. Unable to move past her sorrow or forgive those who have hurt her, she is absolutely miserable and wallowing in grief and self-pity. The only child of a single mom who has recently been diagnosed with early on-set dementia, Annie is bewildered by the sudden attention of Polly Leonard. With a quirky style and an effervescent personality, Polly has every reason to be unhappy yet she is instead a shining star whom everyone loves. She is determined to live life to the fullest and Polly decides Annie is the perfect companion to join her as she embarks on a one hundred happy days challenge.
Annie is mired in negativity as she goes to a job she hates and bemoans her fate living in a dingy flat with a much younger flatmate, Costas. She has let all of her friendships wither and she refuses to join her co-workers in any after-hours activities. In the aftermath of her mother’s diagnosis, Annie finds herself even more overwhelmed and unhappy than before. She is initially not at all receptive to Polly’s overtures but Polly is not one to take no for answer and Annie suddenly finds herself firmly back in the land of the living.
Despite her circumstances, Polly is relentlessly upbeat and positive, larger than life and determined to live on her own terms. What begins as a begrudging friendship soon turns much deeper as Annie finds herself reluctantly confiding in Polly. When Polly finds herself at a low point, will Annie be strong enough to offer her friend the support she needs as she faces the truth about her future?
With a wonderfully diverse cast of characters and a clever storyline, Something Like Happy is a heartfelt novel of friendship and healing. Eva Woods deftly blends sorrow and joy in this inspiring story that will linger in readers’ hearts and minds long after the last page is turned. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this enchanting novel.