Last Tuesday, on April 25, three-time number one New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry released her seventh book, Happy Place. The story follows former lovers, Harriet and Wyn, as they try to conceal their breakup from their best friends. Unable to break the news, the divided couple share a room in the group’s annual vacation spot in Maine. It is the last time the friends will be able to enjoy their happy place together, as the cottage is being sold. What could possibly go wrong? Or maybe a better question would be: what could possibly go right?
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Henry describes the challenges of writing this novel. In the past, this romance writer has primarily stuck to writing two main characters: the love interests. However, with “Happy Place,” Henry decided to take on the challenge of a larger cast. Additionally, she enters new territory in writing a story post-breakup.
So, what are readers saying about this new release?
The Washington Post praises Emily Henry, claiming, “…her characters are funny in the way real people are, her romantic moments thrilling.” Not all rom-com writers are able to achieve the balance between realistic romance and genuine comedy, yet Henry succeeds in both. The Washington Post additionally notes, “what differentiates Happy Place from a standard love story is how much it’s a love-in-the-time-of-covid story, though inexplicably, neither covid nor the pandemic is referenced explicitly.” In just under two days, Henry’s novel quickly racked up over 9,000 reviews on Goodreads, with an overwhelmingly positive average rating of 4.5 stars.
When asked in an interview with ABC what her personal “happy place” is, Henry determines that it’s not necessarily a place, but the people in which she surrounds herself. Henry says, “when you think of the places that bring you so much joy, it’s usually places you have a lot of history and important memories. It’s so based on the people who bring you back to yourself and make you feel grounded, who make you feel like your truest self.”
Henry describes the overarching goal behind Happy Place: “It’s kind of a weird thing that we don’t feel like we are allowed to be happy. We have to stick to whatever we start and I just hope that people who are ready for a change feel a little lighter and more empowered to choose whatever makes them happy.”
Can’t get enough of the critically acclaimed “queen of beach reads?” All three of Emily Henry’s bestselling books, including Book Lovers, People We Meet on Vacation and Beach Read have been picked up for feature films, which are now currently in the works. Happy Place, along with Henry’s previously mentioned novels, are currently available both online and on the shelves of stores such as Barnes & Noble and Target to fulfill all your summer reading needs.
Erin McGinniss is a third-year English major with a minor in American Sign Language. EM1008201@wcupa.edu