If I were to pick, I would say that everyone could benefit from reading Happily Never After–the young and the old, the single, widowed, divorced, the men and the women–but of course, as marketing calls, my audience must be a little more specific. So, if you fall into one of these categories, you should read Happily Never After:
Those who thrive off emotional stories: I may not seem like it at first glance, but I am an old sap at heart. I love all heart-rendering, tear-jerking stories–A Walk to Remember, Pearl Harbor, P.S. I Love You, Sweet Home Alabama, Home is Where the Heart Is, etc., and I think you will find Happily Never After taking you on the same journey. The beginning is raw, its painful, and its realistic, and you will take the journey towards healing. You will watch the tone shift away from those painful moments to moments of maturity, of wit, of disgust–all emotions on our human spectrum.
Those who have been through a break up: By this age, I would predict at least 90% of us have undergone some kind of traumatic break up. And, we all know they suck, but some positives can come out of that as well. In reading, you will probably stumble across a part that will remind you of that break up, and you will think to yourself, “Wow I am SO glad I am not in that place anymore”. Me too, and it will just reaffirm how much progress YOU have made as an individual.
Those who are going through a break up: There are some books you can sit down with, and just read in one sitting because the story is captivating, the characters are intriguing, and the prose is vivid. I love Jeanette Wells, and read the entirety of ‘Half Broke Horses’ on the flight home from London this summer. Or, the fan favorites, such as Hunger Games and Harry Potter. For some of you, it might be 50 Shades of Grey (I wouldn’t know, because I refuse to read it). Then you have books, like Bible study books, that you have to read in intervals because there is so much processing, introspecting, and thinking you have to do that in order for the book to be effective, you must take it at chunks at a time. If you have been recently broken up, this book might work in this way for you. You might hit stage #3, realize this is exactly where you are in your emotional trajectory, take some time away to do some crying, and then re-visit stage #4 later.
Those who feel anxiety about dating: Hey, I am an anxious mess 99% of the time, which is one of the reasons I am so addicted to yoga. I literally get shoved out of my house to go to yoga class when my anxiety levels start rubbing off on everyone else. But, what you should also know is that I scored in the 99%tile on the writing portion of the GRE, which also means that I am a very logical thinker; anxiety often stems from feeling out of control, and Happily Never After spends a good chunk of time looking at these anxieties of 20-Something’s, where they come from, why they are happening, how to rationalize them, and bring ourselves back to reality (anxieties, such as “Why is my life such a mess post-college”, “I must be serial dating all the time”, “People think less of me if I am not in a relationship).
Men who wonder what women think: Often times in relationships, language limitations and social customs prevent us from truly expressing what we really want to say. Mary Elizabeth Braddon writes about this in Lady Audley’s Secret: where we want to uproot a tree and cause an earthquake, the only thing we can do is tip a chair over. We can’t straight up tell people we can’t talk to them anymore because they like us more than we like them, so instead, we ghost. We don’t really talk about how awkward that blind date was, because that makes it even more awkward, so we just skip the subject, and share those details with our friends instead. Men always complain about women being confusing, so in Happily Never After , you will learn, from a female perspective, why I do the things I do.
People who like gossip: In this book, I really do spill my guts; as an introvert, you will probably learn things about me that you never knew even existed, and there will be PLENTY of opportunities for gossip. But, hey, as an author, I had to be aware of those being possibilities, and as Oscar Wilde once said, “the only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about”. So, gossip away.
What I would say to all readers is, keep reading. In my personal opinion, the true gem of the book is the last section, but in order to understand the last section, you kind of have to know what happens at the beginning.
And, if you like what you read, write a review and share it with someone else. We all carry unforeseen and unknown burdens with us, so let’s work to recognize and rise above those.