Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they're still not discussing—they don't. They broke up five months ago. And still haven't told their best friends. Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group's yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
Henry covers new territory. It is, in many ways, the least 'happy' of her works, less swooning and more longing, with a sense of melancholy permeating throughout ... Most of Henry’s books focus on two characters, but this ensemble piece presents female friendship in all its warmth and woundedness, blessedly absent of misogynist tropes of jealousy and pettiness. Admittedly, Sabrina, Cleo and their counterparts don’t come through as sharply as the two leads, their motives mostly a mystery until the final chapters ... The core of the novel is, without question, the ballad of Harriet and her ex-fiancé, Wyn. The novel is structured in flashbacks that detail their initial attraction, their mutual devotion and the sudden, shattering breakup that devastates them both ... Henry operates at the top of her — and her readers’ — intelligence, telling sophisticated, heartfelt stories that are conscious of the romantic comedy conventions without being overly meta about them ... Happy Place is funny at points, but it is also the closest that Henry has come to writing an old-school melodrama, a heart-rending plot that struggles to express the inexpressible.
Henry dazzles and delights by brilliantly deploying her considerable skills in comic timing and crafting characters with relatable, realistically messy lives. Effortlessly toggling between the present-day fauxmance playing out between her protagonists and the origins of their love a decade earlier, Happy Place is a romance that delivers on both style and substance.
[A] delightful summery rom-com ... The chemistry between Wyn and Harriet is addictive, and both display some refreshing vulnerability. The lovable friend group, unusual but welcome in a Henry novel, help push the narrative forward and provide plenty of wit. This has the makings of a rom-com classic.