Book Review: Happy Place by Emily Henry


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 six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest 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, blue 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.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week… in front of those who know you best?


A cottage on the rocky shoreline, with knotty pine floor-boards and windows that are nearly always open. The smell of evergreens and brine wafting in on breeze, and white linen drapes lifting in a lazy dance. The burble of a coffee maker, and that first deep pull of cold ocean air as we step out onto the flag-stone patio, steaming mugs in hand.


Happy Place is happy, summery, sad, deep, and written so well! It made me feel all the feels. Harriet and Wyn broke up about six months ago and called off their engagement. They thought they would never see each other again until their friends unknowingly invited both of them to their annual friend getaway. None of their friends know about their breakup, so Harriet and Wyn try to hold up the facade and play their roles as a happy-clappy couple.

The book takes part in the present and the past. I loved reading about their past and how Harriet and Wyn met. Emily Henry used a beautiful language that brought all of Harriet’s feelings to the surface. Especially the growing apart and miscommunication were so sad and heartbreakingly beautifully written. I couldn’t put the book down, and was very invested in their relationship.

I read a few reviews after finishing the book, and many people said they didn’t like the friendship dynamics in Happy Place and that Harriet and Wyn should have been the sole focus. Though I enjoyed reading about their friendship, it felt like I was part of the group, and that was a fun feeling. They were all so different, and yes, maybe they behaved a bit too dramatically at points, but I didn’t mind. I thought it was refreshing to have more characters included in a love story.


Happy Place shows how important communication is and how painful miscommunication can be. It’s a beautiful summer book about second chances, taking risks, living in the moment, and finding true happiness inside and outside a relationship.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Find all the details about Happy Place on Goodreads.

Picture Cover: Goodreads ; Synopsis: Goodreads


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