Review: The Happy Endings Book Club by Jane Tara

 

Title: The Happy Endings Book Club

Author: Jane Tara

Published: Momentum December 2013

Status: Read from December 02 to 03, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

When bookstore owner, Paige, first formed the Happy Endings Book Club she was somewhat apprehensive, but the seven single women, a mix of regular customers and local shopkeepers, bonded quickly. All yearning for their own happy ending, none could have imagined just how different their lives would be a year later.

After a brief introduction to the women of the Happy Ending Book Club in the first chapter, the narrative shifts time and place to follow each member as they confront their obstacles to finding the happiness they yearn for. I expected a touch of magic having read Jane Tara’s Trouble Brewing, so Paige’s startling discovery didn’t surprise me, nor did Eva’s otherworldly encounter. Tilda’s ‘affliction’ was unexpected, though I liked the message about ‘seeing’ yourself. Michi’s story was both funny and sad as she struggled with her parents unusual life style choice. Clementine’s story has a neat, unexpected twist, as does Amanda’s. Sadie’s story is perhaps the most traditional as she discovers beauty is more than skin deep.

While each story clearly reinforces the main theme of the book, best summed up by a single line in the last pages of the novel: “Happy endings come not through events but through a shift in perception”, this book seems more a collection of interlinked short stories that Tara has attempted to conform into a novel structure, but the format doesn’t quite work given the book’s brevity (less than 200 pages) and the large cast of characters. As such it feels disjointed and forced at times, emphasised I think, by the contrast between the fantastical and mundane elements, which I didn’t feel really worked with one another.

I know that this book has special meaning for the author from reading her blog, earlier this year Jane Tara was told she was at risk of losing her sight and, as she waited for further results, many of the issues her characters face in The Happy Endings Book Club, are ones she grappled with. At the end of her post about her real life experience Jane writes, “I hope my new novel The Happy Endings Book Club entertains you. But more than that … I hope you come away from it asking yourself, how do I see myself? How do I see the world? How do I see?” and despite my opinions about the flaws in the execution of this novel, I do think  The Happy Endings Book Club was an enjoyable and thought provoking read.

Available To Purchase From

Amazon Au I AmazonUS I Amazon UK I iBookstore I Kobo

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kailana
    Dec 07, 2013 @ 09:45:30

    Sounds interesting. I will add it to the wish list. :)

    Reply

  2. Trackback: The Happy Endings Book Club by Jane Tara - Review | Never Too Fond of BooksNever Too Fond of Books

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