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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 21, 2024

The Bookmark: ‘Happy Place’ by Emily Henry

Introducing: your new favorite summer romance novel!

The Bookmark

Graphic by Carmen Smoak

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for “Happy Place”(2023) by Emily Henry.

For my last column, I’m giving the people what they need in their lives right now: a summer romance! My favorite romance writer is Emily Henry. She doesn’t just write average romance novels; her books capture the perfect mix of slow-burn romance, character depth, fresh, summery imagery and enough little plot twists to make it impossible to put down. I mean, I read this book in one day and loved every second of it. You will practically feel like you’re at a cottage on the beach with your best friends when you read this.

There’s a reason this book won Best Romance at the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards. Henry’s writing is smart, witty and wholesome all at once. Some of my favorite lines include: “Our love is a place we can always come back to,” and “Sunlight, everywhere. Not just on my bare shoulders or the crown of my head but inside me too, the irresistible warmth that comes only from being in the exact right place with the exact right people.”

Something that sets “Happy Place” apart from Henry’s other works is its focus on platonic love. There’s the central romantic relationship, of course, but there’s just as much emphasis on the love between the main friends in the novel. She showcases the deep love of friends so beautifully: “My best friends taught me a new kind of quiet, the peaceful stillness of knowing one another so well you don’t need to fill the space. And a new kind of loud: noise as a celebration, as the overflow of joy at being alive, here, now.”

Henry also emphasizes what it’s like to see your long-distance friends in lines like, “It doesn't matter how busy life’s been, how long the five of us have gone without seeing one another: meeting at the cottage is like pulling on a favorite sweatshirt, worn to perfection.”

Finally, in celebration of my last column ever — and the bittersweet feelings that come along with that — I’ll leave you with not one but two (!!) beautiful quotes that express the bittersweet feelings that emerge when something ends:

“I understood then, the immense honor it is to hurt like she does. To have loved someone so much that the taste of maple syrup can make you cry and laugh at the same time.”

“It’s that happy-sad feeling, that intense homesick ache. … The feeling of being so grateful to have something worth missing.”

Summary In “Happy Place,” Emily Henry allows the reader to experience every aspect of love: joy, wonder, heartbreak — and she does it all through a warm, sunshine-y lens. Everyone needs to read “Happy Place” this summer!
5 Stars
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