VSL// An effortlessly entertaining novel about sex, love and the pursuit of happiness

Books about women in New York City trying to find their way through life and love tend to automatically get labeled “chick lit.” But Sarah Dunn’s Secrets to Happiness (available now in paperback) should appeal to both women and men, thanks to its crisp, smart and effortlessly witty writing.

Speaking of chick lit, protagonist Holly Frick knows a little something about it—she wrote a novel called Hello, Mr. Heartache, based on an old boyfriend (though she’s still hung up on her ex-husband). The book chronicles Holly’s travails—adopting a sick dog; conducting an affair with a much younger man; and unwittingly stumbling into a love triangle—as well as those of her friends, and it’s written with such sharp observations and pitch-perfect dialogue that you’ll feel as if you’ve known these people forever. It’s a refreshing take on real life in the city, and while it may not reveal what the secret to happiness actually is, it demonstrates that a good book is always a good start to finding it.

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