Book title: “Happiness Sold Separately”
Author: Lolly Winston
Genre/Audience: Fiction, adult; definitely female-geared
Worth the read?: If you’re just looking to pass the time, sure.
The entire time I spent reading Happiness Sold Separately, all I could think was how embarrassed I would be to write my review. Because, seriously, what the heck is this book?
I found it at Goodwill and liked the cover, so that’s why I bought it. I’ll probably never learn my lesson about the whole “don’t judge a book by its cover” thing.
It wasn’t a bad book; I was intrigued by the story, the characters, and genuinely wanted to know what would happen in the end.
The book tells the story of Elinor Mackey and her husband Ted as they deal with infertility. Their struggles with infertility are probably the most compelling aspect of the story. As the couple become more distant when they give up fighting to conceive, Ted takes to the gym to work through his emotions. There, he meets Gina, a nutritionist, and he has an affair. His wife discovers the affair, separates from her husband to decide what to do, and then proceeds to have her own affair as well. There is drama, drama, and more drama to be had.
See why I was embarrassed about writing this review?
While I was reading the book, I really felt like Lolly Winston was writing in such a way that made me understand the motives behind every character’s actions. The only character I truly couldn’t stand was Gina, the mistress. It wasn’t that she was the mistress that made me dislike her; it was her whiny nature and utter disrespect for herself and others that drove me nuts. I didn’t understand anything she did. I wanted her to just move away and start over without crazy boyfriends.
While I felt like I really understood why Ted and Elinor did things, it didn’t mean that I enjoyed their decisions. It was as if neither of them had any morals or ethics guiding their decisions. Well, they did have an ethical code—it was “do what makes me happy and screw my marriage vows, even though I still ‘love’ my spouse.”
Also, the book didn’t actually end. It alludes to what Elinor decides to do, but we aren’t given perspective from the minds of the other characters, which was done elsewhere in the story. The book really needed a conclusive ending. Ugh, frustrating.
All this said, I did read the book pretty quickly and I never considered not finishing it. In the midst, I was frustrated by Gina and disappointed by the lack of morals/ethics of Elinor and Ted, but I really wanted to know what would happen in the end. I hoped they would come to their senses, become dynamic characters together, but I’m not convinced that happened. An argument could be made that both Elinor and Ted were dynamic characters, that they were growing apart and away from each other, but I don’t think that by the end either is any different than when it began.
I’ll never reread this book, but it passed my spring break time satisfactorily anyway.
Until next time!