Review of The Happy Place by Emily Henry

Emily Henry captured our hearts in 2020 River readingbut he rules New York Times Best Sellers List Since Used People we meet during the holidays and Book lovers. Now he’s coming back to his fourth love, Happy placebut it might just be his best.

In the eight years since Harriet and Wyn met in college, they were the perfect couple. At least, that’s what their friends thought. Because even though it’s been six months since Harriet and Wyn broke off their engagement, they haven’t told anyone. But now, on a weekend with their best friends, their secret will be kept. Because the house for sale and an unexpected wedding to plan, they can not leave their friends. After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for a week, anyway?

If that premise isn’t enough to convince you, here are all the reasons why you should read it Happy place:

Emily Henry

Happy place

Harriet and Wyn, college sweethearts who have been together for ten years, broke up five months ago—but they haven’t told their best friends. This means that where their friends travel every year, they are stuck in one room. Instead of ruining everyone’s time, Harriet and Wyn decided to keep their relationship a secret a week ago. It shouldn’t be a problem, right?

The Escapist Foundation

Take his mind’s eye. It’s summer in Maine, where the mornings call for a sweatshirt and the days are warm enough for a dip in the Atlantic. A week off from work, without your job. A beachfront suite, complete with pool, outdoor shower, and fully stocked bar. A beautiful town, with a bookstore called Murder, He read and a movie theater with only two screens. Lobster Fest is celebrated annually by locals and tourists alike. And most importantly, all your favorite people are there with you.

Can you see it? That was Harriet’s happy place. And when you step inside Emily Henry’s latest page, it will be yours too.

Friends ride or die

Romance novels are sometimes criticized for having isolated writers. But you don’t have to worry about the criticism here. Because Happy place is about love between friends as much as it is about love between romantic partners.

Harriet, Sabrina, and Cleo have been best friends since they were paired up as roommates their freshman year of college. The trio praised the House committee for bringing them together because on paper, they had no point. Harriet, once the bane of her parents for not being able to earn a living, succeeds in becoming a doctor. Sabrina has turned her feelings about the fact that her father is on his sixth wife into a successful career as a divorce attorney. Raised as a music producer and writer, Cleo studied art and ran a successful farm in upstate New York. But despite their differences, one thing is always true: they have each other’s backs, no matter what.

That fact has continued to be true as the band has expanded. First, with son Parth, who is doing well as a lawyer like his girlfriend, Sabrina. Then he and Wyn, who is attractive back. And finally, Kimmy, who is not the homebody Cleo in many ways but equal to each other in life and business. They know that they are a bad group, but they also know that they are the kind of friends who have become family.

The Expected Tropes—In Unexpected Ways

One of the things I love most about Henry’s novels is that I can find my favorite tropes in them, but I can always count on him to deliver them in unexpected ways. If Happy place, we get a second chance romance. But instead of two people getting back together after not seeing each other for years, we get two people who broke off their engagement so recently that they haven’t even told their friends and family about it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. YES love a traditional two chance romance, and Emily Henry still gives us those butterflies-in-our-stomach, head-over-heels, young and in love feelings by bringing us back to when Harriet and Wyn first met at university. But it also gives us the new heartbreak and strong feelings of two people whose relationship ended recently.

Which brings me to the second generation Happy place: force close. We see this trope paired many times with enemies and lovers. But Harriet and Wyn don’t hate each other. In fact, they do everything they can to ignore how much they want each other. Which makes the best mini-trope, there’s only one egg, so much more fun.

The Romance, Indeed

The Henry novels wouldn’t be rom-coms without romance, of course. And the love between Harriet and Wyn is one that will make you swooning. There was banter in their first conversation, which brought up the fact that Wyn had seen a nude picture of Harriet (made by Cleo, of course). There is a relationship that they grow stronger, from what they usually hide from their friends to the emotional connection that they can’t keep secret. There is the challenge of building a life and people, moving from job to job and country to country. There’s the sexiness of bars and t-shirts and outdoor showers.

And through it all, there are two people with their goals and wounds and dreams that will answer one question: are they better together or are they different? As you learn more about Harriet’s fear and Wyn’s insecurities, it’s no secret the outcome will have you rooting for her.

Final Thoughts

You can trust me on this: no matter how big your TBR list is, Happy place which Emily Henry should be in. Why? Because I have my own overflowing TBR list, and I love it so much, I’ve read it twice.

12 books for when you want to escape reality for a little while