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Secrets to Happiness
A Novel

by Sarah Dunn


Holly Frick is a confused New Yorker.  She is in her late 30’s, divorced from the man she still loves, and at a low point in her career.  Holly wrote a novel the year before, but it didn’t bring her fame or fortune.  In fact, it was a thinly disguised story about an ex-boyfriend, and that is just bound to cause trouble.  Especially when the ex-boyfriend’s current girlfriend tracks Holly down and calls her repeatedly for advice.

Holly’s best friend, Amanda, has a wonderful husband and toddler.  While her life seems to be everything Holly wants, Amanda is really seeking the company of another man—and it’s not the first time.

Secrets to Happiness touches on the lives of several other 30-somethings in NY, most of whom know Holly one way or another.  Holly notices that people seem to be just living their lives to make themselves happy, doing what they want, when they want.  This is an outrage to the moralistic Holly.  Yet as good as she tries to be, living her life in a good-girl manner, Holly is the unhappy one.  But what if she changed? Would she too, find happiness?

From Holly’s adoption of a shelter dog with a brain tumor, to her affair with the lover Amanda broke up with (at Amanda’s suggestion that they’d be perfect for each other), events still seem to work against Holly’s happiness.

Sarah Dunn does a great job at bringing the reader along for the ride so that you care a great deal about what happens to Holly, her friends, and of course the dog. I’d recommend this book to anyone at a crossroads in life who wants some insight as to how others cope with change, betrayal and unexpected growth.  A really good read!

The Book

Little, Brown and Company / Hachette Group
March 2009
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The Reviewer

Laura Hinds
Reviewed 2009
NOTE: Reviewer Laura Hinds is an experienced freelance writer whose first novel, Are You Gonna Eat That Banana, just came out in 2009.
© 2009