Subversive Reader Reviews: The Happiness Show (AWW2013)

Book reviews and AWW posts can be found here.

AWW2013 – Book 13

The Happiness Show

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: The Happiness Show

Catherine Deveny
Adult Contemporary Fiction

iBooks e-book


Lizzie is happy. She has two lovely children, a wonderful partner, a job she enjoys and a great best friend. Life is going along pretty well. Things are looking even better when she finds out that her TV pitch – a show about happiness – is being sought by the BBC. Suddenly she’s on the plane to London, only to find out that the producer’s brother-in-law is her long lost holiday fling, Tom. All of a sudden Tom and Lizzie find themselves lusting after each other, even when other things around them are going haywire.

I really disliked this book. It felt too convenient, too smug and too cynical. Everyone’s perfectly flawed, the main character is a massive Mary Sue, with men lusting after her left, right and centre and everything always working out for her, and the whole book is based on the notion that it’s ok to cheat on your partner as long as they don’t find out about it. The characterisation of a few characters seemed to waver as the book progressed, making characters do things because it was convenient. It almost seemed as if the characters were simply there for the author to play with, rather than an organic story being told.

I’m getting a little annoyed with the number of books I’ve read with a cynical approach to relationships. It seems like cheating is the latest ‘in thing’ in some areas of writing, with everyone either cheating on their partners or thinking about cheating on their partners. Maybe I’m living in a ‘less enlightened’ part of the world, but I’m not seeing cheating going on everywhere I look around me, and people definitely aren’t being as open about it as these characters are, if they are cheating.



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