I'm So Happy for You

I'm So Happy for You

3.0 23
by Lucinda Rosenfeld
     
 

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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…  See more details below

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

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)

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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
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316078856
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
07/29/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
920,236
File size:
876 KB

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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