I have to admit I was quite curious about the main subject of this book, Happily by Sophie Tanner – self marriage – as I had never heard of such a thing previously and I must admit I thought it was a bit odd…
How far will you go for your Happily Ever After?
Chloe Usher’s had enough of being asked why she’s ‘still single’; people can’t seem to understand why she’s not freaking out about the slippery slope to spinsterhood. But, as far as Chloe’s concerned, life is sweet; she’s happy, she loves her job, her friends and her flat share next to Brighton beach. One summer evening, after being told that she will never know what love is until she has children, she decides to say ‘actually, I do!’ and announces to her friends that she’s going to marry herself. She’s not quite prepared for the huge reaction to her news on social media and finds herself thrust firmly into the public eye; suddenly she’s a spokesperson for every crazy cat lady out there. With the warm support of her colourful extended family, Chloe attempts to justify her self wedding and the events that unfold take her on a bumpy journey of self-discovery – making exciting new connections and settling old ghosts.
This is a cheeky, original and light-heartedly subversive tale that challenges the notion of ‘settling down’.
Upon reading though, I can really understand the concept and why some people, including the main character Chloe, would want to do it. I researched the author too and discovered that she’d had her own self wedding and this book is loosely based on her.
It really stands for the idea that women don’t need a man to be happy, and it gets incredibly loathing later in life being asked the same questions, such as “A girl like you should be married/have kids/insert situation here by now. Why are you not?”.
Saying that, I did think that Chloe’s decision was quite sudden with no real build up to it and that’s the only thing that has brought my rating down slightly as I would have liked a bit more background beforehand.
The rest of the story is brilliant, really down to earth and written with a lot of humour from Sophie. It covers many more issues than just self marriage too; feminism, homosexuality, cross dressing, drugs, alternative/cooperative living, arranged marriage, wildlife poaching, and much more! It seems like a lot of subjects but these are real things, and they all tie together so well.
The other characters are all completely likeable – well, most of them anyway 😉 – and I especially love Uncle Leonard! The descriptive writing of the locations made me want to be there too as I love Devon, where Chloe married, and I have always wanted to visit Brighton.
Overall though, I really enjoyed the story and it was great to get this new insight into something I have never really considered takes place! I would recommend if you are on the hunt for a lighthearted but emotive read.
My rating – 4.5/5
I was sent this book free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are honest & my own.