Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn highlights the stories of three women: Holly Frick, her friend Amanda, and a single woman, Betsy Silverstein. Although Holly and Amanda share confidences as best friends, the Betsy storyline seems to be completely separate within the book. It is interesting to see how Holly and Amanda manage their lives, and contrast and compare with how Betsy’s life manages her instead.
Amanda is leading a seemingly ideal life with her husband Mark and son Jacob. From the outside, it looks perfect, but there is definitely something missing from the marriage. As for Holly, her ex-boyfriend, Spence Samuelson, is the subject of her latest novel. Spence is in a new relationship with Cathleen, and seems to deeply care for her, but has to manage Holly’s input at every turn. Betsy works at a job that has lost its appeal, goes to parties and is never fully present. She can’t find a man under any circumstance, and is destined to live a lonely life.
The reader gets a tell-tale glimpse into the lives of the characters, and Dunn portrays them in a very realistic way. At first, it may seem a bit confusing to keep it all straight. Each chapter serves as its own mini short story within the book. Eventually, the characters are seen as if they are starring in their own movie, and the book becomes one that the reader will not want to put down.
I was able to identify with each character, because they were all true to their own spirit. The scenarios in the book were realistic, probable and unpredictable. Everyone wants love, but no one wants to have to sacrifice oneself to find it.
3 winners will receive copies of Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn!
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Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Back Bay Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.