Happily Ever After by Harriet Evans

happily-ever-after

RATING: 4/5

BLURB: “This is the story of a girl who doesn’t believe in happy endings. Or happy families. It’s the story of Eleanor Bee, a shy book-loving girl who vows to turn herself into someone bright, shiny and confident, someone sophisticated. Someone who knows how life works. But life has a funny way of catching us unawares. Turns out that Elle doesn’t know everything about love. Or life. Or how to keep the ones we love safe…”

REVIEW: I absolutely loved this book. It isn’t often that I find so-called ‘chick-lit’ fiction that I actually enjoy, as the characters are usually somewhat one-dimensional and the ending of the novel tends to be staring the reader right in the face; but that was not the case with this novel. Evans tells the story of Eleanor Bee, a Bridget Jones-esque character whose struggles and successes in the tough world of publishing make for hilarious, realistic and often romantic results. The reader watches Eleanor grow from a shy secretary into the manager of a publishing division in New York, all the while following her familial problems and her relationship failures. It is hard to discuss the book without giving too much away, which I really don’t want to do as it was the surprises that the book held that made it so interesting to me. For literary readers, the frequent mentions of other books also adds an extra enjoyable dimension to the story, which can at times be truly heartbreaking as we witness Eleanor’s struggle with drink and her mother’s own downward spiral into alcoholism. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, relaxing read with relatable characters and a witty, lively insight into the publishing industry.

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