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Happy Place
Cover of Happy Place
Happy Place
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INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
“The beach-read master hooks us again."—People

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by BuzzFeed ∙ Paste Magazine ∙ Elle Southern Living ∙ SheReads Culturess ∙ Medium ∙ Her Campus Readers Digest ∙ Zibby Mag and more!
A couple who broke up months ago pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.

 
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
 
They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
 
Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
 
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
“The beach-read master hooks us again."—People

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by BuzzFeed ∙ Paste Magazine ∙ Elle Southern Living ∙ SheReads Culturess ∙ Medium ∙ Her Campus Readers Digest ∙ Zibby Mag and more!
A couple who broke up months ago pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.

 
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
 
They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
 
Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
 
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover 1

    Happy Place

    Knott's Harbor, Maine

    A cottage on the rocky shoreline, with knotty pine floorboards and windows that are nearly always open. The smell of evergreens and brine wafting in on the breeze, and white linen drapes lifting in a lazy dance. The burble of a coffee maker, and that first deep pull of cold ocean air as we step out onto the flagstone patio, steaming mugs in hand.

    My friends: willowy, honey-haired Sabrina and wisp of a waif Cleo, with her tiny silver septum piercing and dip-dyed box braids. My two favorite people on the planet since our freshman year at Mattingly College.

    It still boggles my mind that we didn't know one another before that, that a stodgy housing committee in Vermont matched the three of us up. The most important friendships in my life all came down to a decision made by strangers, chance. We used to joke that our living arrangement must be some government-funded experiment. On paper, we made no sense.

    Sabrina was a born-and-raised Manhattan heiress whose wardrobe was pure Audrey Hepburn and whose bookshelves were stuffed with Stephen King. Cleo was the painter daughter of a semi-famous music producer and an outright famous essayist. She'd grown up in New Orleans and showed up at Mattingly in paint-splattered overalls and vintage Doc Martens.

    And me, a girl from southern Indiana, the daughter of a teacher and a dentist's receptionist, at Mattingly because the tiny, prestigious liberal arts school gave me the best financial aid, and that was important for a premed student who planned to spend the next decade in school.

    By the end of our first night living together, Sabrina had us lined up on her bed watching Clueless on her laptop and eating a well-balanced mix of popcorn and gummy worms. By the end of the next week, she'd had custom shirts made for us, inspired by our very first inside joke.

    Sabrina's read Virgin Who Can't Drive.

    Mine read Virgin Who CAN Drive.

    And Cleo's read Not a Virgin but Great Driver. We wore them all the time, just never outside the dorm. I loved our musty room in the rambling white-clapboard building. I loved wandering the fields and forest around campus with the two of them, loved that first day of fall when we could do our homework with our windows open, drinking spicy chai or decaf laced with maple syrup and smelling the leaves curling up and dropping from branches. I loved the nude painting of Sabrina and me that Cleo made for her final figure drawing class project, which she'd hung over our door so it was the last thing we saw on our way out to class, and the Polaroids we taped on either side of it, the three of us at parties and picnics and coffee shops in town.

    I loved knowing that Cleo had been lost in her work whenever her braids were pulled into her neon-green scrunchie and her clothes smelled like turpentine. I loved how Sabrina's head would tip back on an outright cackle whenever she read something particularly terrifying and she'd kick her Grace Kelly loafers against the foot of her bed. I loved poring over my biology textbooks, running out of highlighter as I went because everything seemed so important, breaking to clean the room top to bottom whenever I got stuck on an assignment.

    Eventually, the silence would always crack, and we'd end up giggling giddily over texts from Cleo's prospective new girlfriend, or outright shrieking as we hid behind our fingers from the slasher movie Sabrina had put on. We were loud. I'd never been loud before. I grew up in a quiet house, where shouting only ever happened when my sister came home with a questionable new piercing or a new love interest or both. The shouting always gave...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 16, 2023
    Exes must pretend they’re still together in this delightful Summery rom-com from bestseller Henry (Book Lovers). Burned out surgical resident Harriet Kilpatrick is eager for a relaxing weeklong getaway with her tight-knit friend group at the remote Maine beach cottage they’ve frequented. Then she arrives and discovers that Wyn Connor will also be there for the week. Wyn and Harriet were the perfect couple in college, and then the perfect fiancés, but they broke up six months ago and have yet to tell their friends. With the cottage up for sale, Harriet is determined not to ruin the gang’s last summer getaway, meaning she and Wyn must pretend to be happily in love. It’s awkward at first—compounded by the fact that, of course, there’s only one bed for the two of them—but soon they fall back into a familiar dynamic and old flames reignite. The chemistry between Wyn and Harriet is addictive, and both display some refreshing vulnerability. The lovable friend group, unusual but welcome in a Henry novel, help push the narrative forward and provide plenty of wit. This has the makings of a rom-com classic. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Julia Whelan's nuanced performance complements this heartfelt story. Every year a group of friends has vacationed together at a cottage in Maine. Now the couples are moving into big life decisions--except for Harriet and Wyn. They broke up months ago, but they can't bear to tell the others on the last trip before the cottage is sold, so they pretend they're still together. For every fun, nostalgic activity, there's a tremendous amount of emotion and tension that make their pretense heartbreaking. Whelan gives a distinct voice to each person, enhancing the affectionate banter among the witty pals. A.L.C. © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2023

    Heartbroken and exhausted, Harriet is excited to escape her life for a week and go to her happy place, an annual summer trip to Maine with her college besties. This will be the first trip without her ex-fianc� Wyn, and she is nervous about telling their close-knit friends about the breakup and the effect it may have on the group. Things get tricky when she arrives--Wyn is there, and owing to unforeseen circumstances, they must pretend they're still together. Henry (Book Lovers) is back with another layered romance that explores the transition from one's carefree early twenties into adulthood. Well-versed in Henry's worlds, narrator Julia Whelan perfectly encapsulates Harriet and Wyn and skillfully builds tension through her portrayal of their complicated feelings toward each other. A seasoned narrator, Whelan slips expertly into each side character with just the slightest adjustment to her tone, leaving listeners entranced. VERDICT Henry's fans will be pleased with this tale of friendship, found family, grief, and growing up. A superb collaboration between a writer and narrator, both at the top of their game.--Laura Hammond

    Copyright 2023 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Emily Henry
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