Determined to embrace her new life as a "Surprisingly Young Divorcaee," 29-year-old Maggie, with the help of her tough-loving academic advisor, her newly divorced friend Amy, and her group chat, barrels through her first year of singledom, searching for what truly makes her happy.
The seemingly tireless facility for jokes and comic self-deprecation can also be wearing. It risks a certain glibness, allowing Heisey to skate over the more serious concerns buried inside the book: the deep feelings of brokenness and loss that come in the wake of a failed relationship. These are often glimpsed, before inevitably giving way to a joke ... There’s certainly a breezy confidence to Heisey’s mode of storytelling via text messages and Tinder correspondence, but quickfire DM exchanges in an age of internet dating can also read like comedy sketches, obstructing the possibility of real insight. It’s a shame, since Heisey clearly recognises that for modern singletons navigating the online dating market.
Empathy is at the heart of Monica Heisey’s debut novel, Really Good, Actually ... Maggie’s voice is engaging, allowing readers to feel her pain, cringe at her adventures and communication attempts, and root for her to find her footing ... There’s humor and grace in Really Good, Actually—a lightness of touch, a wry wit. Maggie is a woman disembarking from traditional romance to find herself. And while her marriage might have been short, her voice is enduring, and her journey is engaging, surprising and fresh.