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Happy Ever After

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Naomi seems to have everything. A beautiful daughter, a gorgeous house, a perfect life. Behind the scenes, though, she and her husband are drifting from one another and struggling to conceive their second child.

Then Naomi meets a parent at her daughter's nursery. Sean understands her, or so she thinks. Looking for a connection, for a friend, she joins him at a swimming
...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: January 23rd 2020 by Harvill Secker
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Average rating 3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  80 ratings  ·  51 reviews


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Paromjit
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a convoluted and suspenseful psychological thriller from CC MacDonald featuring Naomi, a mother and wife who on the surface appears to have the perfect life. She is married to Charles, an inventor with mental health issues, suffering from depression, issues that elicit very little in the way of sympathy from her and there is a growing distance between the two of them. She has a two year old daughter, Prue, but Naomi is desperately obsessed with getting pregnant again so that Prue is not ...more
Mandy White
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really did struggle with this book. It was not what I was hoping for when I read the blurb.

The characters were awful and the story jumped all over the place and I lost interest early on. It wasn't realistic at all and I really didn't care what happened to any of the characters. A shame as I was looking forward to a thrilling read but it was not that for me at all.

Thank you Random House UK, can't love them all
Pauline
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A story about a couple trying to conceive their second child.
I could not relate to the characters and really struggled to keep reading this book.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Vintage Publishing for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Roman Clodia
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Great cover but a plot we've seen hundreds of times before as a mad psychopath waits 20 years before insinuating himself into the home of an unpleasant couple (husband with "two flat floury baps for an arse") to ruin their lives. Masses of filler comprising domestic minutiae, another of those baby-obsessed women with an ovulator app always within reach, and some unintentionally hilarious lines: "he had been so genial and friendly even though he had a dog-murdering python waiting in his car" - ...more
Liz Barnsley
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Happy Ever After was an entertaining psychological thriller but unfortunately I didn't really relate that well to the characters- a bit entitled, a lot stupid and yet there was something compelling about it as the story played out.

A mistake and a baby, some strange goings on and lots of lies make up the centre of this one- it is a page turner for sure and there are plenty of twists to keep you happy.

Overall an enjoyable read but I didn't really root for anyone or care what happened to them. If
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Melanie’s reads
This book gave me the most difficult time, so much so that I left writing my review until I was completely decided. I’m normally so sure of my opinions but this one is like a crappy old b movie that is so bad you can’t stop watching and it ends up being good (anyone who has recently watched the film Little Monsters you will understand).

I read this on pigeonhole where a stave of a few chapters are released daily and you can interact with other readers by commenting throughout. Quite a few of us
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Kat
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I am really sad to say I struggled with this book, I think the main problem was I just didn’t like the characters especially the main protagonist Naomi. The storyline didn’t really grab me but I did continue to the end and I can’t say the book wasn’t well written because it was maybe it was just me as sometimes domestic thrillers just get stale and a bit samey and this seemed to be the case for me here. Others may find this book better but for me it was just a 3 star read.
My thanks to
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Lethmi
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent novel. The plot was crafted like a black widow spider spinning her web and jumping out when you least expected it. Some of the things had me questioning if anyone would really get themselves so caught up in their own web of lies as Naomi did, but that made the ending even cleverer and I spent a while considering it all after I finished the last page.
Jacqueline  sharp
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this book, a brilliant debut novel, well written, my problem was with the characters Naomi and Charlie as I just didn’t like them, but I don’t think you are really meant to. They are both different, I can’t see how there marriage is a happy one, as at times each of them seem to feel something is lacking. Whereas they should be happy and grateful for what they do have. Again I think this is a point the author is possibly making, they are millennials who seem to feel ...more
Kath
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Naomi is married to Charlie and they have a two year old daughter, Prue. When we first meet her, her marriage is not as strong as it was, mostly due to her husband's mental heath which is deteriorating. This is compounded by her desperation to have a second child to complete what she thinks would be the perfect family which is putting an even bigger strain on her relationship with Charlie. She is taking Prue to nursery when her head is turned by Sean who is dropping off his own child.
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Jacqueline  sharp
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book, a brilliant debut novel, well written, my problem was with the characters Naomi and Charlie as I just didn’t like them, but I don’t think you are really meant to. They are both different, I can’t see how there marriage is a happy one, as at times each of them seem to feel something is lacking. Whereas they should be happy and grateful for what they do have. Again I think this is a point the author is possibly making, they are millennials who seem to feel ...more
Sonja Charters
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
If I could describe my perfect genre to you ....this would be it!

This one had me completely hooked and I struggled to put it down!

A couple from London move away to the sea with their young daughter to bring up their small family and have hopes to extend the family too.
We are given little chinks of insight into the not so distant past where his business has had issues leaving him with a mild depression and counselling and can see why the marriage is going a bit stale due to having a toddler and
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Miss R
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

"Happy Every After" is without doubt one of the best domestic noirs I have read in long time. Yes, the plot is not new - but lets face it, no book is truly original in this sense. It is without doubt, however, a well-written, imaginatively constructed narrative with a killer twist at the heart of what is, a very dark story. C.C. MacDonald has truly excelled himself with the complex characterisation of the novel's
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Joanne Cartwright
This came across as a bit of a strange mix of a book...part traditional romantic entanglement and disappointing husband, part terrifying stalker and domestic thriller.
The use of internet searches, therapy notes and text messages worked in parts but was a little too disjointed for me as some of the leaps were difficult to follow. Perhaps a little more background as we went along might have helped makemore sense of it all.
There were also several incidents in the book that I just couldn't imagine
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Fay Flude
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is a tricky book to review because there were parts which were fantastic - mainly the ending - and parts that were slow, uninspiring and just did not seem to make sense. Confusion over the texts sections of the book played a part in spoiling my enjoyment and I felt that this psychological drama was intermittently tense and intermittently strange.
Naomi lives with Charlie. Charlie is feeling the pressure to look after his family financially and although the couple have a small child Prue,
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Teresa Nikolic
Naomi seems to have everything. A beautiful daughter, a gorgeous house, a perfect life. Behind the scenes, though, she and her husband are drifting from one another and struggling to conceive their second child.

Then Naomi meets a parent at her daughter's nursery. Sean understands her, or so she thinks. Looking for a connection, for a friend, she joins him at a swimming lesson with their children. That day, Naomi makes a terrible mistake.

Weeks later, when Naomi attempts to contact Sean, he has
...more
Veronika Jordan
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I feel so mixed about this book even though towards the end I couldn't wait to find out what happened. The problem for me is that both main protagonists are unlikable. Bit like Gone Girl. Charlie is a total prat but I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for him when Naomi was upset because they couldn't afford the 5-bedroom house by the sea she'd told all her posh London friends she was buying. You're in your thirties with one child! Most people of your age are lucky to get on the housing ladder. ...more
Kylie
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book a little hard to persevere with in the beginning but did finish it in the end. I had sections where I found it all a little hard to follow and it was confusing at times.

Naomi is married and desperate to conceive a second child. Her and her husband are having some issues as he has had some mental health issues and Naomi is finding it difficult to cope with the stress of work, running all aspects of the household chores and attempting to conceive.

She meets Sean, a new father at
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Stephanie
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Unlike some, I did actually enjoy reading this book although in fairness certainly at the beginnning I really did not warm to the main characters at all!

Naomi particularly came over as rather shallow and materialistic and her husband was somewhat ineffectual, although this probably related to the depression he suffers from.

The story is a twisty turny psychological thriller, and as it progresses the tension ramps up considerably and I felt the ending was really good.

There is perhaps too much
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Nicky Maunder
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book took me a while to get into and for the first half of the book you’re not really sure where it’s going. The main characters of Naomi and Charlie aren’t really sympathetic so there wasn’t really much for me to like or relate to. We’re thrown into the spoilt life of Naomi and Charlie who could do more to support each other, but each of them are struggling. They’re barely holding it together. But then after about half way through the pieces start to fall into place. All those “where on ...more
Nicola Mackenzie-smaller
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Naomi and Charlie have moved to a new home by the sea. Due to Charlie’s business failings this is a dilapidated wreck, rather than the dream home Naomi wanted. They have a toddler and are having real trouble conceiving a second child. Into the tension in their marriage steps Sean, a handsome man, who has a toddler like Naomi’s own.
From this point the book starts to take a sinister turn. I can’t write much because of spoilers, but it turns out that there is a link to the family’s past, and they
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Tina
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the story of Naomi. Naomi is married with a child and struggling to conceive a second. There are other deep rooted problems too which are putting a lot of strain on their marriage. Naomi then meets Sean at her daughter’s nursery and things go downhill from then on.

As a huge fan of psychological thrillers this was not a good one. I didn’t care about any of the characters and the plot was just bizarre and made no
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Tara O'sullivan
This is a well-executed, twisty, turny thriller. Naomi is fighting a feeling of dissatisfaction in her seemingly charmed life, with a distracted husband and overrunning building work at home. She finds herself drawn to one of the other parents at her daughter’s nursery. But things quickly get out of hand, and, full of regret, Naomi tries to put things behind her and get her life back on track. It soon becomes clear, though, that someone doesn’t want to let that happen, and Naomi finds herself in ...more
Gail Wylde
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pigeonhole
When I start a book I always start with 3stars and then see how we go. Some jump straight to 5, some slowly make their way up but this one slipped downwards in the beginning. I did struggle at the start of this book, I couldn’t warm to any of the characters and really had no clue to what was going on. Then everything changed, I began to like the characters and enjoyed the twists and turns that took us right to the end. Get past the slow beginning and you are in for an enjoyable read.
I want to
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Noemi Proietti
I really wanted to like this novel, I really did, I was intrigued by the blurb and I was looking forward to reading a good thriller, but it was hard to finish reading this book. First of all, the characters are irritating and not at all likable and I didn’t root for any of them. The plot is suspenseful, but some parts of the story are unrealistic and unbelievable and I really struggled with it. The story jumps between characters, timelines, and narrative and, sometimes, it was confusing to ...more
Margaret
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pitched as a psychological thriller. I’m afraid it just did not grab me at all and I found it difficult to stick with it. The characters left me cold too. This just was not the book for me. On the surface Naomi and Charles appeared to have a perfect life but underneath the surface things were very different .
a convolution of lies underpins the mixed up tale
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the Arc copy to review
Vicky
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
I’ve just finished reading this book via pigeonhole. Charlie and Naomi are a rather annoying couple trying for a baby - their clinical approach to marriage and conception makes you really wonder why they are nothing as they really should just split up and they’d both be happier! Then we meet Sean and things get really screwed up.

There was an interesting twist but I feel like this book could have been really creepy but it just didn’t quite get there for me!
Joan
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book. It’s a smartly written slow-burn of a thriller with twists and turns throughout. The first half was filled with dread and from about halfway through the pace became relentless and I couldn’t put it down until the genuinely surprising and satisfying ending.

I found the characters complicated and relatable although not always that likeable!

A beautifully written thriller - highly recommend.
Sophie Bristow Harris
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I almost scrolled by this book because of bad reviews - I’m so glad I didn’t as I really enjoyed it!
There are a few space filling chapters which were scientific info that women (or indeed men!) may find interesting if trying to conceive.
A well written book, but I’m slightly miffed that a certain question wasn’t answered on the last page!
Most enjoyable.
bev allman
Nov 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I very rarely give up on a book and this is one of them. I just could not get into it. I found myself skipping pages and I had no empathy with Naomi the main character who has an affair despite being married with a child. The story did not grab me and hold my interest. I am sorry but I did not finish this book.
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