Kristin Billerbeck. The Theory of Happily Ever After. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2018.
When I first picked out this novel to read, I just thought that the concept sounded quite amusing. However, I soon found out that Ms. Billerbeck has actually been a co-author on several books and novella collections that are sitting in my to-be-read pile. After reading this hilarious story, I’m looking forward to diving in to her other works in the very near future!
Dr. Maggie Maguire has made a name for herself as one of the leading authorities on the science of happiness. Yet, her real life has taken a turn toward the depressing, as her fiancé and research partner leaves her for a younger woman, setting her personal life and career into a tail spin. As a desperate measure, Maggie’s best friends arrange for her to speak on a singles cruise, but even the concept of a fun-filled vacation with minimal work required seems like an impossible task. For this scholarly woman, a stranger who insists that smart women can never be happy becomes the ultimate challenge. With a week-long cruise, her best friends, and quirky opportunities to regain her sense of self-worth, Maggie discovers happiness in the strangest of places.
Ms. Billerbeck brings her incredible sense of humor to this tale of one scholar’s attempts at discovering happiness for herself. Readers who enjoy laugh-out-loud stories will definitely find this novel to be well worth the read!
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Theory of Happily Ever After. While I am not overly familiar with Ms. Billerbeck’s previous works, this novel offered an impressive showcase of her writing style and wit. Maggie and the other characters show themselves to be complex and well-developed, even as they fit well within a humorous storyline. The cruise environment also presents multiple opportunities for Ms. BIllerbeck to dive into Maggie’s various theories, while presenting a delightful counterpoint to the seriousness of Maggie’s work situation. Even the ending seems exceptionally worthwhile, as it did not feel forced or trite. Instead, it added further depth to the characters and situation, which was a welcome change from how many less-talented authors would have concluded this storyline. After reading this novel, I very much look forward to seeing what Ms. Billerbeck releases next!
Fans of Ms. Billerbeck will be absolutely delighted with The Theory of Happily Ever After! Readers who enjoy stories set on cruise ships (which seems to be a surprisingly common setting for humorous storylines) will be very satisfied with this novel.
Special thanks to Revell and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of The Theory of Happily Ever After! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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