Recent Reads, 5/40: Real Happy Family


Before my trip to Mexico, I knew I wanted something fluffy and light to read on the beach. Of course, when you’re actually searching for a type of book to read, it can be hard. I knew I wanted something on my Kindle, to keep packing light. I also wasn’t sure whether or not I’d finish a book and need back up (I didn’t, but it was good to have backups without the excess baggage). Enter Kindle Firsts.

A while back, I joined a mailing list, as part of a Kindle Prime membership, that would allow me to choose one of four books for free before they are released the next month, every month. I haven’t downloaded one until
Real Happy Family by Caeli Wolfson Widger. The palm trees on the cover and quick description (plus the price tag) were enough to prove to me that it would be the best book for my vacation.

Real Happy Family tells the story of the Branch family and some of it’s extended members.
Since Lorelei Branch, the 22 year old daughter of Colleen and Carl, ran away, the family has been falling apart.
Carl can’t seem to keep a hold of his steadfast parenting ways as Colleen spins out of control without her daughter, her best friend. Lorelei ran to escape the embarrassing live TV antics of her mother, and it lands her in Reno with an addiction to meth. Meanwhile, Carl’s son Darren is facing small marital problems as his wife Robin (a talent agent who represented Lorelei before she disappeared) struggles to get pregnant. Once a solution to their fertility woes is found, Darren is offered the chance of a lifetime to be the director of photography for a prominent indie director. As it coincides with Robin’s most fertile moments, it causes a strain as each tries to achieve their dreams.
As the story goes on, the reader sees the immense downfalls and webs the characters get involved in.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this book, but I wasn’t pleasantly surprised. It was an easy read and it kept me interested. Each chapter tells the unfolding story of a different character (focusing heavily on Colleen, a stage mother unaware of her selfishness, and Lorelei, spiraling into oblivion with her addiction), and it all comes together very nicely. While the topics of addiction and infertility are dark, there is still an ease to the way the story is told.
It’s a train wreck, but you keep hoping for the light at the end of the tunnel. 

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