I'm So Happy for You

( 23 )

Overview

What if your best friend, whom you've always counted on to flounder in life and love (making your own modest accomplishments look not so bad), suddenly starts to surpass you in every way?

Wendy's best friend, Daphne, has always been dependably prone to catastrophe. And Wendy has always been there to help. If Daphne veers from suicidal to madly in love, Wendy offers encouragement. But when Daphne is suddenly engaged, pregnant, and decorating a fabulous town house in no time at ...

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Overview

What if your best friend, whom you've always counted on to flounder in life and love (making your own modest accomplishments look not so bad), suddenly starts to surpass you in every way?

Wendy's best friend, Daphne, has always been dependably prone to catastrophe. And Wendy has always been there to help. If Daphne veers from suicidal to madly in love, Wendy offers encouragement. But when Daphne is suddenly engaged, pregnant, and decorating a fabulous town house in no time at all, Wendy is...not so happy for her. Caught between wanting to be the best friend she prides herself on being and crippling jealousy of flighty Daphne, Wendy takes things to the extreme, waging a full-scale attack on her best friend-all the while wearing her best, I'm-so-happy-for-you smile-and ends up in way over her head.

Rosenfeld has a knack for exposing the not-always-pretty side of being best friends—in writing that is glittering and diamond-sharp. I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU is a smart, darkly humorous, and uncannily dead-on novel about female friendship.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"While the actions of nearly every character in the book are morally questionable, their emotions are real and often funny.... Rosenfeld demonstrates Wendy's dysfunctional relationships with her friends and family, and addresses the ugliness of envy with both humor and honesty."
Redbook
"[A] darkly funny story of what happens when friends become frenemies."
BookPage
"I'm So Happy for You is an amusing and chilling look at the less frequently explored one-upmanship of some female friendships. And while Wendy's psychotic behavior pushes people away, Rosenfeld will only draw fans closer with this masterful cautionary tale."
Entertainment Weekly
"If you've ever gritted your teeth and offered a phony smile to that one friend who always seems to get everything she wants, Rosenfeld's frenemies tale will ring true...a witty, scathing novel that's a breeze to read."
Los Angeles Times
"It's a rare page-turner: No one is murdered and no time bombs tick--just a friendship going to seed in the moneyed coliseum of New York City yuppiedom... The feat of Rosenfeld's quick-footed, juicy book is her fine shadings of two complicated but sympathetic figures, alone and in comparison. Neither woman falls into the stereotype of slit-eyed hellcat. Daphne might be self-involved, but even judgmental Wendy will grant that she never says a bad word about anyone... this novel's charms lie in its resolute kindness. The denouement isn't fierce but funny and wistful. Rosenfeld seems to want only the best for Daphne and Wendy: a witty, passionate life, examined just enough to decide on the next object of desire."
The New Yorker
"The book's confectionery veneer belies a heart of poison, as Rosenfeld tartly dispels the cherished chick-lit notion that female friendship conquers all. Equally ruthless is her sendup of overachieving New York women in feral pursuit of have-it-all motherhood without having first ascertained if they even like children."
The Boston Globe
[A] funny tale of girlfriends gone wrong.... Lucinda Rosenfeld's I'm So Happy For You is a novel about female friendship, but it's not one of those sensitive, redeeming jobs. Rosenfeld has written a satire about the dark side, about the envy, the backbiting, the bitchiness. It's nasty, it's funny, and it has a certain undeniable authenticity.... I'm So Happy For You is darkly humorous, with excellent dialogue and sharp observations about contemporary culture."
New York Times Book Review
"Despite the enormous popularity of an HBO and an entire literary genre ostensibly devoted to them, female friendships remain strangely underexplored, unlike the search for true love (I'm talking about you, Jane Austen), for which they are regularly thrown aside. Lucinda Rosenfeld stays focused in her new novel, I'm So Happy for You, and it pays off handsomely. The book explores a particularly rich relationship vein-the love of an Everywoman for her more beautiful, more glamorous pal.... Rosenfeld goes beyond the obvious issues of envy and the perils of vicariousness to examine a fascinating byproduct of female empathy.... Small resentments collect until one day, perhaps because of a trivial crime, they explode in a Wagnerian burst of emotion.... [A] thoroughly enjoyable and somewhat rare specimen of chick lit that stays focused on the chicks."
"Summer's Best Beach Reads" Vogue
"Capturing the surprisingly competitive world of Brooklyn brownstones and Bugaboo strollers, Lucinda Rosenfeld's I'm So Happy for You takes the comic measure of the unlikely friendship between two women."
From the Publisher
"Rosenfeld delves into the thornier side of female friendship in this hip take on modern womanhood. Wendy and Daphne have been best friends forever, but their relationship...comes to a breaking point when Daphne suddenly pulls herself together, stops fooling around with a married man and finds a new love interest who happens to be handsome, rich and obnoxious.... In the course of a few twists, misunderstandings and revealed secrets, Wendy questions whether the source of her inferiority complex is Daphne or herself. The two friends are by turns frustrating and sympathetic, while Rosenfeld takes a dark, hilarious and painfully accurate view of the less-than-pure reasons why women stay friends."—Publishers Weekly

"While the actions of nearly every character in the book are morally questionable, their emotions are real and often funny.... Rosenfeld demonstrates Wendy's dysfunctional relationships with her friends and family, and addresses the ugliness of envy with both humor and honesty."—Booklist

"Capturing the surprisingly competitive world of Brooklyn brownstones and Bugaboo strollers, Lucinda Rosenfeld's I'm So Happy for You takes the comic measure of the unlikely friendship between two women."—Vogue, "Summer's Best Beach Reads"

"[A] darkly funny story of what happens when friends become frenemies."—Redbook

"I'm So Happy for You is an amusing and chilling look at the less frequently explored one-upmanship of some female friendships. And while Wendy's psychotic behavior pushes people away, Rosenfeld will only draw fans closer with this masterful cautionary tale."—BookPage

"If you've ever gritted your teeth and offered a phony smile to that one friend who always seems to get everything she wants, Rosenfeld's frenemies tale will ring true...a witty, scathing novel that's a breeze to read."—Entertainment Weekly

"It's a rare page-turner: No one is murdered and no time bombs tick—just a friendship going to seed in the moneyed coliseum of New York City yuppiedom... The feat of Rosenfeld's quick-footed, juicy book is her fine shadings of two complicated but sympathetic figures, alone and in comparison. Neither woman falls into the stereotype of slit-eyed hellcat. Daphne might be self-involved, but even judgmental Wendy will grant that she never says a bad word about anyone... this novel's charms lie in its resolute kindness. The denouement isn't fierce but funny and wistful. Rosenfeld seems to want only the best for Daphne and Wendy: a witty, passionate life, examined just enough to decide on the next object of desire."—Los Angeles Times

"The book's confectionery veneer belies a heart of poison, as Rosenfeld tartly dispels the cherished chick-lit notion that female friendship conquers all. Equally ruthless is her sendup of overachieving New York women in feral pursuit of have-it-all motherhood without having first ascertained if they even like children."—The New Yorker

[A] funny tale of girlfriends gone wrong.... Lucinda Rosenfeld's I'm So Happy For You is a novel about female friendship, but it's not one of those sensitive, redeeming jobs. Rosenfeld has written a satire about the dark side, about the envy, the backbiting, the bitchiness. It's nasty, it's funny, and it has a certain undeniable authenticity.... I'm So Happy For You is darkly humorous, with excellent dialogue and sharp observations about contemporary culture."—The Boston Globe

Despite the enormous popularity of an HBO and an entire literary genre ostensibly devoted to them, female friendships remain strangely underexplored, unlike the search for true love (I'm talking about you, Jane Austen), for which they are regularly thrown aside. Lucinda Rosenfeld stays focused in her new novel, I'm So Happy for You, and it pays off handsomely. The book explores a particularly rich relationship vein-the love of an Everywoman for her more beautiful, more glamorous pal.... Rosenfeld goes beyond the obvious issues of envy and the perils of vicariousness to examine a fascinating byproduct of female empathy.... Small resentments collect until one day, perhaps because of a trivial crime, they explode in a Wagnerian burst of emotion.... [A] thoroughly enjoyable and somewhat rare specimen of chick lit that stays focused on the chicks.New York Times Book Review

The Boston Globe
[A] funny tale of girlfriends gone wrong.... Lucinda Rosenfeld's I'm So Happy For Youis a novel about female friendship, but it's not one of those sensitive, redeeming jobs. Rosenfeld has written a satire about the dark side, about the envy, the backbiting, the bitchiness. It's nasty, it's funny, and it has a certain undeniable authenticity.... I'm So Happy For You is darkly humorous, with excellent dialogue and sharp observations about contemporary culture."
Laurie Winer
Rosenfeld goes beyond the obvious issues of envy and the perils of vicariousness to examine a fascinating byproduct of feminine empathy: the very skills that make women so good at intimacy, the reassurances and supportive phrases that girlfriends offer reflexively, help them avoid confrontation and form a surface over everyday wounds. Small resentments collect until one day, perhaps because of a trivial crime, they explode in a Wagnerian burst of emotion. Rosenfeld builds a sturdy plot complete with a red herring and a climax that, while convenient to her heroine's redemption, is not resolved in an easy or sentimental way…I'm So Happy for You may not transcend its genre, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable and somewhat rare specimen of chick lit that stays focused on the chicks.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Rosenfeld (What She Saw) delves into the thornier side of female friendship in this hip take on modern womanhood. Wendy and Daphne have been best friends forever, but their relationship, sketched out in e-mails that cascade from their group of girlfriends, comes to a breaking point when Daphne suddenly pulls herself together, stops fooling around with a married man and finds a new love interest who happens to be handsome, rich and obnoxious. In quick succession, Daphne ties the knot, moves into a brownstone and gets pregnant. Meanwhile, Wendy, a low-paid editorial drone who's been trying and failing to conceive with her slacker husband, feels that her own life is thrown into miserable relief. She begins to lash out at Daphne, first passively, and then rather aggressively. In the course of a few twists, misunderstandings and revealed secrets, Wendy questions whether the source of her inferiority complex is Daphne or herself. The two friends are by turns frustrating and sympathetic, while Rosenfeld takes a dark, hilarious and painfully accurate view of the less-than-pure reasons why women stay friends. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Rosenfeld (Why She Went Home, 2004, etc.) subversively suggests that best-friendship is as complicated and co-dependent as the average romance. Wendy is solid, responsible, gainfully employed, attractive and married. Daphne is erratic, emotional, beautiful and spoiled. Since they bonded in college 15 years ago, their relationship has chartered a steady course: Daphne provides the excitement; Wendy is the clean-up crew. But suddenly things have shifted. Daphne has finally left the older, married Mitch (cause of many late-night, suicide-threatening phone calls to Wendy) and clicked with hotshot lawyer Jonathan. This coincides with Wendy's marriage sinking into bored annoyance; fixated on her failure to conceive, she has turned husband Adam into little more than a sperm donor. After their lovely wedding, Jonathan and Daphne find a beautiful Brooklyn brownstone to renovate, just as Wendy and Adam are evicted and have to move into an even dingier apartment than the one they are leaving. Then Daphne gets pregnant, just like that! It's really more than Wendy can bear. Smugly happy with the relationship when her friend was needy, she's ashamed to realize that she doesn't much like the less-dysfunctional Daphne. Her reaction to good fortune reveals to Wendy how petty she is; readers are likely to agree, and her unpleasantness is a problem. Implying that such power plays lie at the heart of female friendships (other peripheral pals are also skewered and roasted), Rosenfeld isn't quite trenchant enough in her observations for the novel to be as unnerving as she intends. A black comedy that could have been sharper and funnier. Agent: Maria Massie/Lippincott Massie McQuilkin
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316044509
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 7/29/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 693,049
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucinda Rosenfeld is the author of the novels What She Saw... and Why She went Home. Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Creative Non-Fiction, Slate.com, Glamour, and other magazines. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two young daughters.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    And you're supposed to be my best friend?!?

    Wendy and Daphne have been friends since college. At first glance, it appears they are best friends. After spending a few minutes with them, one begins to wonder if they secretly despise each other.

    Wendy functions better when Daphne is needy, helpless and a complete mess. She comes across as the caring "I would do anything to help you" kind of friend, when deep down she's thrilled that Daphne is miserable. From the beginning, I didn't like Wendy. AT. ALL. I couldn't decide if she's insecure, jealous, bitter and angry, passive-aggressive or all the above. She is so unhappy with her own life, that she can't express real joy for her friends.

    Daphne feels she has to tip-toe around Wendy and continue being the "fragile" one as her life falls into place. As a result, Wendy becomes more sensitive about their friendship and feels Daphne is leaving her behind as she starts this new life. When the two friends finally have it out at Daphne's baby shower, the reader feels it is long overdue.

    I'm not sure about this book. It was very hard for me to get in to as I really didn't care for any of the characters. The second half of the book was much better for me, as I managed to zip right through it. What I would have wanted to see was more of the book told from Daphne's perspective. The reader learns about Daphne through Wendy's eyes and I just wondered how tainted her description was. Alternating chapters where Daphne and Wendy both told the story would have made this more enjoyable for me.

    Would I recommend I'm So Happy for You? Probably so, but with some hesitation.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Quirky, Offbeat Story

    Saw this book and read it on a whim. Enjoyed the quirkiness of it. Goes to show that friendship and jealousy unfortunately sometimes go hand in hand. A good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2009

    Chic Lit at it's best

    I loved this account of a friendship gone awry. It illuminated the fact that many female friendships are more enemy-ships. Is someone still a friend if you talk behind their back and whine to others about all the things you deem to be flaws. If you stick with a friend out of obligation and habit rather than cherishment, intimacy and being a soft place to land, then hasn't a friend just become family, in all the wrong ways. A great ride of a novel, that made me stop and examine by friendships.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Review by "The Reading Reviewer"

    You spend every day of your life in and out of complicated relationships. Between boyfriends, husbands, kids and of course your mother life is never dull. But the relationship with your best friend and by default the countless number of people that spill over in and out of your lives makes your relationship with your best friend one you have trouble living without and figuring a way to survive it.

    For Wendy Murman her life with best friend Daphne Uberuff is one of high drama and constant chaos. Wendy has always been the stabilizing factor in their life through all the ups, downs and crying phone calls in the middle of the night from Daphne. Wendy had the regular job, a husband that loved her and time to work on making a baby. Daphne had men in and out of her life and countless times where life seemed to make no sense.

    But then everything changes in the blink of an eye. Daphne meets the perfect man, with a great job and she is ready to become a wife and mother. What does Wendy do now that she is not the one running the relationship, how does she exist if not to make things right for Daphne, what is going to happen to their relationship if Wendy doesn't even like the man Daphne intends to marry?

    But that appears to be the least of Wendy's problems as her marriage falls on hard times, she is unable to get pregnant, gets kicked out of her apartment and her job appears to be at a standstill. With all the drama now in her court Wendy finds herself unable to figure out what the next step should be.

    What do you do when your best friend turns out to not be the friend you thought she was? Is the problem you or your friend? Can you work through the issues or is this an unsolvable problem and perhaps one you don't want to solve. We have all been at this crossroads and those friends that are worth saving you fight for with everything you have but not every relationship can be saved and we all have to figure out what is best in the long run.

    This is an eye-opening book because you really do question what Wendy and Daphne are doing with each other and what are they doing to one another. Are they really friends or enablers that once the problems start arising they realize that beneath the surface there is not much to be proud of. This is a good book and worth the time to read it because it makes you examine yourself as much as who your friends are.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    great novel

    This is a fast paced, easy book to read. This is the story about two best friends and what happens when your best friend starts getting everything you desire. I would recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Didn't get past page 2.

    The writer tends to think that being overly verbose is going to help the reader. However, some of the finest writers will leave a bit up to your imagination. If I wanted a literal play-by-play, I would watch a movie. Not only that, but the characters are frustrating. Ugh... I couln't make it past page 2.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Mediocre

    This book is just average. The story line is very boring and drawn out until you are more than half way through the book. It is a nice story when you finish it but it is nothing that i would ever recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    So depressing

    This was not an enjoyable read. It was depressing and ended very oddly. Very unlikable characters

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    meh

    Cheesy but quick read. Too much use of "Meanwhile," to start sentences. Weird quirk. Who talks/writes like that!?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Don't waste your time.

    This book was such a waste of time to read. The main character Wendy is so selfish and complains constantly, it makes me sick. It was a little like Something Borrowed, but with a more self deprecating main character. She is obsessed with trying to get pregnant all the while making snarky comments on her "friends" lives. The end had a small twist and then the very last chapter summed up years in a way that tried to make the wasted pages before it add up. If you want to read a book try Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin instead, similar but with a better main character.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2010

    If you have a friend who makes you sick..

    I found this book to be charming. It shows the main character's struggle with the boundaries of one of her dearest friendships. The type of friend who has nothing to worry about except for men. There are a lot of mock emails in this book which at times are humorous.

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    Posted March 19, 2012

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    Posted July 3, 2011

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    Posted March 28, 2010

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    Posted April 19, 2010

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    Posted March 20, 2013

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    Posted June 3, 2010

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    Posted November 13, 2009

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    Posted July 20, 2010

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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