Secrets to Happiness
By Sarah Dunn
(Back Bay Books, Paperback, 9780316013604, 304pp.)
Publication Date: July 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Holly Frick has just endured the worst kind of breakup: the kind where you're still in love with the person leaving you.
Sarah Dunn has moved from Los Angeles to New York five times, and from New York back to Los Angeles four times, which means she is happily back in New York, where she lives with her husband, Peter Stevenson, and their son, Harry. Her first novel, The Big Love, has been translated into 23 languages.
"SECRETS TO HAPPINESS is smart, bitingly funny, laced with sitcom-sharp dialogue, and bittersweet. Far from a confectionary tale, it reads more like a spiritual journey, one that follows Holly and a cast of supporting characters as they try to turn their lives around. . . . But since this is not a chick-lit book, a guy is not the answer here. For Holly and her supporting cast, the secret to happiness is embracing the fact that, as one character states, it's OK to live an ordinary life. This means accepting a life they would have otherwise shunned."
-New York Observer
"Sarah Dunn's novel zips along hilariously, fueled by pitch-perfect dialogue. . . . SECRETS TO HAPPINESS is an antic urban comedy, with enough neurotic characters to fill the cast of a Woody Allen movie. It's great fun."
"I love this book. Sarah Dunn is very funny, that's the first thing to say. But she is also deep, interesting and subtle. Her characters could be my friends and yet they utterly surprise me. She is so smart about life and society and the complex and contradictory ways our hearts behave. "Oh that is so true." As I read Secrets to Happiness, I found myself thinking that again and again and again."
-author of Hanging Up and co-writer of You've Got Mail
"Secrets to Happiness is a fun, insightful portrait of the urban professional woman, and mercifully devoid of shoe shopping scenes. Sarah Dunn is a terrifically talented writer with a brilliant sense of comic timing."
-author of Lamb and A Dirty Job
"A smart, heartwarmingly funny story about modern love in the city. Secrets to Happiness is brimming with Sarah Dunn's vivid characters and engaging voice and will linger long after you've finished the last page. I love this book!"
-author of Love the One You're With and Something Borrowed
"Sarah Dunn achieves what so many authors set out to do but so few manage: she captures the Zeitgeist. If you can imagine a cross between Candace Bushnell and Edith Wharton, that is Sarah Dunn."
-author of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
"Sharp-witted Dunn follows her debut (The Big Love, 2004) with a ... tale simultaneously elevated by its snappy humor and tinged by some reflective shading.... Deft repartee and happy endings all around ... in this smart chick-lit tale with dark undertones."
"Dunn charts several New Yorkers' lives in this snappy novel..... the energetic and witty prose speeds along the narrative. It's smarter than the usual single-in-the-city fare, and funnier, too."
"Dunn displays a rapier wit; a perfectly nuanced gift for savvy, sophisticated dialogue; and an endearing moral compass, which she uses to great advantage as she blithely navigates the fraught and fatuous world of trendy New York's treacherous dating scene."
"A savory treat...packed with dogs, divorce, and dizzying dysfunction."
"Secrets to Happiness ... makes for good, sharp fun."
"A big-city smart, yet universally appealing, little gem. . . . The hapless protagonist of this topical novel is such a clever observer of modern life, offering a wealth of Exacto-sharp theories that echo sentiments we may feel but would hesitate to express."
"Ms. Dunn shuttles her characters around New York with deft precision, weaving their lives together seamlessly."
-Wall Street Journal
"Sarah Dunn is a wise and brilliant writer who doesn't sacrifice emotional complexity for low humor--she gives you both."
"Here's a secret: Read the book. More likely than not, it'll make you happy."
-The Miami Herald