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Happiness Sold Separately
by Libby Street

Category: Fiction / General
336 pages; ISBN: 0743499239

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Happiness Sold Separately
Libby Street
Downtown, Jul 2005, $13.00, 336 pp.
ISBN: 0743499239

Twenty-five years old Manhattanite Ryan Hadley feels she lives an okay life though she finds boredom as her roommate much of the time especially on the job at Geiger Data Systems and in her closet sized apartment. The highlight of the past week for instance is seeing Henry Winkler on the streets. She enjoys spending time with her two best pals, Veronica and Audrey, but is shocked when both leap up the career ladder while she remains mummified below them. Ryan has been saved from cyber-sex by her best friend at work Will, lead singer of the Delicate Blunder band, who is suddenly making it in rock and roll and seemingly with Audrey too.

Ryan feels depressed as her three buds are leaving her behind even though not one of them would do that consciously. Then a miracle occurs to lift Ryan’s spirits when she spots Charlie her former college boyfriend. Though she can hear her song on his lips, he is engaged to a shrill.

Thanks to a strong secondary cast who make New York seem real, HAPPINESS SOLD SEPARATELY is much deeper than the typical chick lit romp. Ryan is the center of the tale as she is jolted out of complacency by the recent gains by her three best friends and inspired by the return of Charlie into her life; the former makes her nostalgic for what she thinks they will lose but the latter turns her into an amazon warrior prepared to fight for her man. Though the fine character driven plot could do without the usual sub-genre lists, fans will want to walk with Ryan as she seeks her groove.

Harriet Klausner


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