Thursday, 19 January 2012

Books Read: Harriet Evans - Happily Ever After

Source - Won in a competition

At twenty-two, Eleanor Bee is sure about three things: she wants to move to London and become a literary superstar, she wants to be able to afford to buy a coffee and croissant every morning, and she doesn't believe in happy endings.  She saw what divorce did to her parents: happily ever after's fine on the last page of a book, but it just doesn't happen in real life.

Elle moves to London.  She gets a job at Bluebird Books, a charmingly old-fashioned publishers.  She falls out of pubs, wears too-short skirts, makes lots of mistakes and feels like she's learning nothing and everything at the same time.  And then, out of the blue, she falls in love, and that's when she realises just how much growing up she has to do.

Ten years on, and Elle's life has completely changed.  But no matter how much you try to run away, the past has a funny way of catching up with you, and Happily Ever After comes in all shapes and sizes...

The release date for this book is today so would like to take this opportunity to wish Harriet Evans a happy publication day and hope she has a tremendous success with this book.  I was lucky enough to win an advance reading copy in a competition so have been able to read it before it was released. 

The book tells the story of Eleanor Bee, or Elle as she prefers, over a twenty year period as she makes the transition from a teenager caught in the crossfire of her parents divorce, her subsequent move to London in her twenties and landing her dream job of working in the publishing industry plus the highs and lows that follow in both her professional and personal lives.

Elle falls into her job at Bluebird Books quite literally after scouring the job adverts and coming up empty but then spots an advert for a secretary at an independent publisher in the wrong section of a local newspaper.  Over the years we get to see Elle blossom, through hard work and dedication as she works her way up the career ladder, from a meek secretary to a confident and successful editor in New York.

This book is not all sweetness and light though as we do get to see glimpses of the relationships between Elle and her family, especially the impact that her mother's drinking has had on her life, plus her lack of success in finding the perfect man to achieve her own happy ever after.

I loved the fact that this book is centred around Elle's love of books and working in the book industry as this is actually a rarity these days.  We all love to read books but there are not that many novels that have books, or the book industry, as a theme within the storyline.  I can only think of  couple of fiction books off the top of my head that are based around books.

This is actually the first Harriet Evans book that I've actually read, although I do have a couple of her previous books in my massive tbr pile, so I'm going to set myself another target to find these in the boxes and dig them out to read this year as I hope they'll be as enjoyable to read as this one was. 

1 comment:

  1. I have read another Harriet Evans book and really enjoyed it!