Monday, July 13, 2009



by Maryann McFadden


Everyone needs a dream . . .

Claire Noble gave up on her dreams a long time ago. A single mother and respected history teacher, she has also been caring for her aging parents. But now it’s finally Claire’s turn. She has fallen in love with Rick Saunders, who is offering her both security and the opportunity to travel. Before their fall wedding, she will be leaving for a summer on Cape Cod, where the fabled light has been luring artists for a century; and the chance of a lifetime to study with one of the most noted photographers in the country.

But just as Claire is about to step into her new life, her estranged daughter suddenly shows up with a backpack full of problems. Claire’s father reveals a fifty-year-old secret that threatens to unravel their family. Her mother confides that at seventy-eight years old, she’s still waiting for the love of her life. And a chance encounter with an environmental writer results in an intriguing new relationship, undermining Claire’s certainty that she’s found the man with whom she hopes to spend the rest of her life. In the midst of all this turbulence, Claire begins to question everything she thought she wanted. And surprisingly, so do her mother and her daughter.

Set in the lush, rolling hills of northern New Jersey and the romantic, windswept dunes of Cape Cod, So Happy Together is the story of three generations of women who find their lives, and dreams, suddenly transformed in ways they never could have imagined. But ultimately, it is the heartbreaking and joyful journey of one woman who comes to realize that when you’re a mother, or a daughter, you are never truly free.

“I can think of no writer I’d rather have sing me songs of the sea, even sad ones, than Maryann McFadden. The characters in So Happy Together will speak to you, and the best ones—Claire, Fanny, Amy, John—all have the ocean in their voices.”
—Anne Rivers Siddons, author of Off Season and Colony

“In So Happy Together, Maryann McFadden deftly weaves a story of three generations of women and the men who orbit around them. With a sure touch, she writes about the mother-daughter bond, the simple pleasures to be found in cooking, the pervasive nature of guilt, and the power of forgiveness. Ultimately she explores the ways that growth is possible at every stage in life, if only we remain open—and how unexpected changes can lead us to places we never imagined.”
—Christina Baker Kline, author of The Way Life Should Be and Bird in Hand


Maryann McFadden has been a successful realtor for the past twenty years, but she always wanted to be a novelist. The Richest Season began as her thesis project when she returned to school for a Master’s degree. She lives in Hackettstown, New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.


Maryann McFadden wrote THE RICHEST SEASON which I greatly enjoyed so I was happy when I heard she had a new book coming out. SO HAPPY TOGETHER for me is about 4 characters. One is the setting of the story as the beaches and gorgeous area of Cape Cod truly came alive for me in the words of McFadden. It was an integral part of the story and for me this would not have been as good a book had it been written any where else. Maybe that is because the author just did such a great job of incorporating the setting into the story the way she did.

The other three characters start of course with 45 year old Claire who finally thinks she has some time to live her life in the way that she wants. As a single mother who tried the best to right her "wrong" of having a baby out of wedlock, always trying to make up to her daughter Amy for her having no father, Claire's life is changing. As a high school history teacher, she is planning on spending her summer studying the photography that she loves, here in Cape Cod. With a new man in her life, the fall brings promise of marrying this man, Rick, and moving to Arizona to live her life pursuing her dreams. But alas, things don't always go as we would think. Second character I mentioned is Amy, who ran away from home but lo and behold, returns at this most inopportune time, to return to Claire and not alone as she is pregnant. Fanny, Claire's elderly mother, the third character, is faced with caring for her husband, Joe, Claire's dad, who now has Parkinson's.

So suddenly, Claire's idyllic summer and plans for the future take a one eighty and she is forced to deal with Amy and Fanny and their relationships are what make up this character driven story. I did feel at times that these were people so into their own problems that often it was hard for them to see anyone else having a life outside of their world, but overall, the story moved well and I enjoyed it. It was a long book but did hold my interest as I waited to see what would happen to each of these women and the way their problems would work themselves out. I think I liked Fanny the best for some reason....maybe because of her bravery in handling Joe with dignity during his progressively debilitating illness.

I recommend this book and think you would enjoy it especially as a nice lazy summer read.
I have one copy of this book to giveaway.
PLEASE, U. S. Residents only
PLEASE No P.O. Boxes
PLEASE include your email address

Just comment below with your email address
and tell me about a favorite summer vacation
spot you think a good story would take place in.
You MUST be a follower of my blog this time so
please tell me how you follow, hopefully easily
in the left column on my Google Connect followers
Please comment/enter by 6 PM, EST, July 21


Shauna said...

I follow!

Shauna said...

Would love to read this :)

Unknown said...

Great review! This sounds like an interesting book--thanks for the chance to win!!


Unknown said...

Hey, I read your review. Sounds wonderful for a Sunny day, while sitting underneath my back patio umbrella with my feet up. lol

gahome2mom at gmail dot com

KR said...

My favorite summer vacation spot - Murrells Inlet SC.

I think I follow on Google Friends! LOL


kalea_kane said...

What a great review. Of course I am a follower. I think that a perfect summer book setting would be Old Orchard Beach in Maine. It has a great boardwalk area, lots of fun little shops, volleyball, carnival type rides and it has a pretty hopping little night life too. I lived very close to it back when I lived in Maine, and I always thought it would be nice for a young adult novel. :)

Thanks for the giveaway!


Anonymous said...

Great review, please enter me!


Natalie W said...

Oh i would love to enter! I think a good summer spot for a story would be Mazatlan!! Mystery in Mazatlan. LOL!
I'm following thru google friend connect also.

Erin Lowmaster said...

The Coast of Maine, preferably Camden.

ellybean (at) connected2christ (dot) com

joyh82 said...

sounds like a great summer read..
count me in.
jhoorm01 at yahoo dot com

Libby's Library said...

How about Punnalu'u Hawaii - great spot for a story to take place in.

Thanks - and yes I'm a follower.


DarcyO said...

Sounds good! A great summer book setting would be Hilton Head, NC.


DarcyO said...

I follow on Google.


Unknown said...

Last month we went on vacation to the Smoky Mountains. They were breathtaking!

I also follow with Google Friends!

jgbeads at gmail dot com

Dixie said...

I'd love to read this. Sounds like my kind of book.
My favorite vacation spot that I think would make an awesome setting for a novel was at Old Orchard Beach in Maine.
I follow your blog-you're in my blogroll.


Ann Diana Dinh, said...

Favorite summer vacation spot would probably be just home in my backyard on a nice cool sunny summer day.

I'm a follower.


Sheila DeChantal said...

I follow you! :) A favorite place would be on the North Shore where our cabin is.... it is up by Grand Marais Minnesota and there are some great wooded areas there.

Actually there are quite a few Minnesota authors who do write about that area... mysteries mainly because it can give you that kind of feel...

The book sounds good! Thanks as always for your wonderful giveaways!

Misusedinnocence said...

I think Tivoli in Denmark would be a great location. :) I would love to read So Happy Together! Thanks gor the give away.

Debbie said...

We like so many little spots on the North and South Carolina coasts that would make great settings. How about Harbor Island, SC.
I follow through google connect.

Debbie F said...

I favorite get away is JA.

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F said...

Oh forget - I follow via Google Reader!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

scottsgal said...

Fave summer vacation spot would be North Woods of Wisconsin on a boat on a crystal clear lake

long time follower via reader

msboatgal at

Beth (BBRB) said...

Hmm, perhaps Cape Cod?

I'm a Google Reader subscriber, and just joined as a follower too for good measure. :)

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

LoveMyCoffee said...

My favorite place to read is on the beach. Usually I love sitting at my mom's by the pool under her shade tree, with my puppies running around me.
Great review, I love being an armchair traveler with books.


LoveMyCoffee said...

I follow on google reader

Unknown said...

In the South of France! aitmama (at) gmail (dot) com

Charleydog said...

Truly a complicated story and very interesting. Agree that the seacoast of Maine is alluring at this time of year, especially Ogonquit.

sharon54220 said...

I am a follower - OF COURSE I AM!!

I would have to say Cape May, NJ.
This is a quaint town, that still has the old brick sidewalks as you are walking by all the stores. I just loved it.

ChristyJan said...

A favorite vacation spot? Yellowstone.

I'm a follower


Shawna L. said...

It would have to be Island Park on Buffalo Flats
I follow on google reader
Shawna Phillips

Anonymous said...

Lake Placid, NY would be a nice place for a summer book setting.


Cindy said...

Cape Cod would be my first choice for the setting of a summer read book! So, I know that I would love to read this book! Thank you for a great review that makes me want to read it more than ever! I so want to win this one!

I am a follower - on Google and Twitter!


DCMetroreader said...

I think Panama City Beach would be a great setting.

I follow.


Unknown said...

The state of Maine is an ideal spot for a story - if you want a beautiful setting on the water there's Kennebunkport or York, for picturesque towns there's Portland or Camden or the more private setting of Deer Isle or Blue Hill. And that's just for starters!


Unknown said...

I follow your blog through blogger dashboard and google reader.


CherylS22 said...

I think any beach along the Outer Banks would be a great place for a good summer novel.
Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

CherylS22 said...

Oops! I forgot to mention that I already follow thru Google Connect. Sorry for the 2nd comment.


Young in TX said...

Favorite summer vacation spot is Cozumel and scuba diving!

Matt Gladden said...

im a follower i think i would go to kingston, jamaica!!

matt dot glddn at gmail dot com