SO HAPPY TOGETHER
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.
Reviews “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.”
“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
—Christina Baker Kline, author of The Way Life Should Be and Bird in Hand
“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.”
MY REVIEW AND REFLECTIONS:
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 have one copy of this book to giveaway.
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