Sunday, September 3, 2023

THE HAPPY LIFE OF ISADORA BENTLEY by Courtney Walsh, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"OBSERVATION: People who live on this planet are existing in varying degrees of comfortability, contentedness, and happiness.

QUESTION: What makes someone happy? Can happiness be derivatively reduced to a list of 'things' to do . . . . . "


So many questions. It's what introverted, slightly awkward-genius university researcher Isabella Bentley does best . . . organize answers (another word for conclusions) based on the data. So when she happens upon a magazine article titled "31 Ways to Be Happy" (on her thirtieth birthday, no less) she dares to test the author's hypothesis. The unexpected variable? . . . one very real Dr. Cal Baxter.

"It's so refreshing to see someone else who prefers real pencils." (That should have been a clue!)

As Isadora plows through her thirty-one self-inflicted tasks, she comes face-to-face with all the reasons that she has preferred isolation; relationships are messy and there are certain risks that come along with developing a community of . . . dare she say the word . . . friends. But according to Cal, "Happiness isn't that hard to find . . . It's all around us . . . It's something we pursue. And you'll never find it if you never let anyone in." Ouch. Double ouch.

What an ingenious story line! Isadora Bentley's journey to happiness is filled with all sorts of ups and downs, which is to be expected. Life never happens in a straight line, nor would we want it to. Be encouraged, especially those of us who experienced things in the past that we may literally want to burn in the fireplace . . . but a word of caution!!! Open the damper!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
She’s out to prove that there’s no such thing as choosing happiness.

Isadora Bentley follows the rules. Isadora Bentley likes things just so. Isadora Bentley believes that happiness is something that flat-out doesn’t exist in her life—and never will.

As a university researcher, Isadora keeps to herself as much as possible. She avoids the students she’s supposed to befriend and mentor. She stays away from her neighbors and lives her own quiet, organized life in her own quiet, organized apartment. And she will never get involved in a romantic relationship again—especially with another academic. It will be just Isadora and her research. Forever.

But on her thirtieth birthday, Isadora does something completely out of character. The young woman who never does anything “on a whim” makes an impulse purchase of a magazine featuring a silly article detailing “Thirty-One Ways to Be Happy”—which includes everything from smiling at strangers to exercising for endorphins to giving in to your chocolate cravings. Isadora decides to create her own secret research project—proving the writer of the ridiculous piece wrong.

As Isadora gets deeper into her research—and meets a handsome professor along the way—she’s stunned to discover that maybe, just maybe, she’s proving herself wrong. Perhaps there’s actually something to this happiness concept, and possibly there’s something to be said for loosening up and letting life take you somewhere . . . happy.

Christian women’s fiction
Stand-alone novel
Book length: 100,000 words
Perfect for fans of Rachel Linden, Gail Honeyman, and Linda Holmes
Includes discussion questions for book clubs 

Thomas Nelson Publishing, June, 2023

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share This Post

How Our Giveaways Work: The Official Rules

We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.