Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin
English | 2020 | Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Chick-lit| ePUB | 2.2 MB
A dark, witty page-turner set around a group of wealthy mothers and the young musician who takes a job singing to their babies and finds herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….
After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for overprivileged infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.
There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her perfect life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the cool women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.
Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood—exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women—while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.
Claire Martin didn’t want to throw herself in front of a bus, exactly. But if a bus happened to mow her down, knocking her instantly out of existence, that wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world.
If she were floating in eternal nothingness, at least she wouldn’t have to hear Vagabond’s music in every fucking bar in New York City. It happened for the fourth time not long after New Year’s Day, as she sat on a stool in some Upper West Side dive, performing her fun new ritual of Drinking to Forget. She’d managed to swallow her way within sight of that sweet, sweet tipping point—the one where all her sharp-edged self-loathing melted into something squishy and Jell-O-like—and just caught the eye of a curly-haired guy nearby when “Idaho Eyes” came over the speakers, as jarring and rage-inducing as the clock radio blaring “I’ve Got You Babe” in Groundhog Day.
She turned away from her new prospect and leaned over the bar. “Hey,” she said to the bartender, who held up a finger in her direction and continued his conversation with a middle-aged man a few stools down. Automatically, she drummed her fingers along with that catchy opening beat before she caught herself and closed her hand into a fist. “Hey!”
“What?” the bartender asked, glaring.
She squinted at him, trying to make him come fully into focus. He was a big, scowling bear of a man and alarmingly fuzzy around the edges. “Can we skip this song?”
“No,” he said.
Claire considered leaving, but the guy with curly hair intrigued her, and she liked Fucking to Forget almost as much as Drinking to Forget. She swallowed, then flashed the bartender what she hoped was a winning smile. “Please? I’d really appreciate it.”
Her smile, bright and effective enough to be a form of currency, had worked wonders for her in the past. In the early days of touring with Vagabond, rattling around in a van for which they could barely afford the gas, the guys had joked about it and had sent her into convenience stores to see if she could get them all free snacks for the road. But this bartender remained unmoved. He folded his hairy arms across his chest. “My bar, my playlist.”
Claire gritted her teeth as the verse turned into the first chorus. A nearby couple began to dance, shout-singing along, the man looking into the woman’s face with pure love. At times like these, Claire thought that maybe God did exist, not as some benevolent being or terrifying father, but as the omniscient equivalent of a prank show host. An Ashton Kutcher kind of God. She took another large gulp of her whiskey. “Don’t be a dick, man,” she said as the bartender turned away. “The customer’s always right, right?”