‘This lovely, quirky novel will appeal to fans of Miranda July and Sheila Heti’ Red
Ottila McGregor is thirty years old and has decided it’s time to sort her life out. She’s going to quit drinking, stop cheating and finally find true happiness. Easy, right?
Getting in the way of this plan are:
1. Grace, her best friend, who believes self-improvement is for people in their forties.
2. Mina, her sister, who is mentally ill, and it might be Ottila’s fault.
3. Thales, the Greek guy who works in the hospital cafeteria – probably the best, most dangerous person Ottila’s ever met.
Told through a scrapbook of emails, receipts, therapy transcripts and other ephemera, this is an infectious one-off of a novel that makes you wince and laugh in equal measure.
"[A] raw, funny and untidily generous novel... Ottila belongs to the great sisterhood of the Female Fuck-Up. Not the eroticised trainwrecks male writers love to invent, but the real-deal ones like Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag... As much as you’re rooting for Ottila to get her man, that’s not the point; the point is whether she can gain the moral wisdom to live a better kind of life. She’s an Emma steeped in ethanol."
"This lovely, quirky novel will appeal to fans of Miranda July and Sheila Heti."
"I loved the novel’s strong sense of place and the picture it paints of a sparky, inner-city singleton trying to stay on the straight and narrow. Funny, bleak and heart-warming, sometimes all at the same time."
"Balances irony and earnestness perfectly, offering both a heartbreakingly sincere quest for happiness and an acerbic intolerance of hollow quick-fixes... Anneliese Mackintosh’s latest work is positively radiant."
"Impressive and challenging… This debut novel is every bit as assured, honest and innovative as its predecessor… So Happy It Hurts is something of a high-wire act, laugh-out-loud funny at times but also so emotionally honest that it sometimes feels like a punch to the guts… As sharp a novel about 21st-century living as you’ll find anywhere."