Happy Place by Emily Henry

With summer on the way, it is a good time to start thinking about what books to take on vacation. To me, vacation reading has become synonymous with a category of fiction called Beach Reads.  These are some of my favorite books to read while sitting at the beach enjoying the sand, surf and summer vibes or even on a staycation where I am nowhere near the beach. 

Beach Reads, according to Book Riot, are “light, fluffy, or compulsively readable novels that are perfect to take on vacation.”  One of my favorite authors, Emily Henry, has a brand new addition to the Beach Read genre, just in time for summer, and it is my pleasure to share about it. 

In Henry’s latest offering, Harriet, Sabrina and Cleo have been inseparable friends since they were assigned to room together their freshman year of college. Years later, the trio have grown up and added partners Wyn, Parth and Kimmy to their group, but they still meet yearly, at Sabrina’s family’s house in a small coastal Maine town for the annual lobster festival.  This is one of Harriet’s happy places and she is excited to see her friends again. 

Currently, Harriet is a determined surgical resident who tries to keep the peace wherever she goes. If her friends argue, she provides a distraction.  This has been one of her key life skills since childhood when her parents and her older sister would get into giant fights.  Harriet is the peacemaker and it has served her well over the years.  She is always trying to make others happy.  So much so that in her own life she is not sure what actually makes her happy.  

This, and a combination of other events, have led to Harriet and Wyn splitting up, however; her friends are unaware because neither of the pair have told anyone.  Wyn agreed he would not attend the trip, making up an excuse so their friends would not find out, so Harriet is shocked to arrive at the cottage and find Wyn in the kitchen. After a big announcement from Sabrina, the pair have to quickly figure out how to handle the situation and what they will do for a full week in the presence of their closest friends. 

Soon they are rooming in one of the primary bedrooms, which offers no privacy, all the while trying to avoid each other at all costs.  What could possibly go wrong? 

Emily Henry is one of my favorite authors.  Her books always have strong, flawed characters that are struggling to figure out life. Her writing is witty and I like how she draws the story out. The reader never gets the full story during the introductory part.  She leaves clues and hints and parcels it out a bit at a time. It keeps readers turning the pages and guessing what will happen next. While this newest title reads a little predictably, I loved the themes of connection, growth and soul searching that were included.

Happy Beach Reading this summer! 

Find the book in the catalog. 

Review written by: Jeana Gockley, Joplin Public Library Director