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Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin

Contemporary fiction

Happy & You Know It

by Laura Hankin

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Quick take

Your sneak peek into the lives of wealthy NYC moms, whose delicious scandals actually make them more relatable.

Good to know

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    Fast read

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    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Snarky

    Snarky

  • Illustrated icon, Mama_Drama

    Mama drama

Synopsis

After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for overprivileged infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.

There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her perfect life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the cool women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Happy & You Know It.

Happy & You Know It

Prologue

New Yorkers are good at turning a blind eye. They ignore the subway ranters, the men who walk with pythons twined around their shoulders, anyone who suggests meeting for dinner in Times Square.

But on one sweltering August afternoon, when the whole city was trapped in a bubble of heat, a woman came running down Madison Avenue in a full-length fur coat, demanding to be noticed. As she sprinted by, encased in a suffocating cocoon of mink, the sweaty customers at the sidewalk café on East Ninety-?­Fourth Street couldn’t help but stare.

Maybe it was, in part, because of her smell—the staleness of the inky black pelt she wore, plus something else, something sickly sweet and stomach turning. Vomit. Dried bits of it crusted the woman’s mouth. Little chunks clung to her hair. She didn’t look like someone who should have smelled that way. She looked rich.

Maybe it was the sleek stroller she pushed in front of her. It glided along the sidewalk, the baby equivalent of a Porsche, but without a baby inside.

Or maybe it was the pack of women chasing her.

Afterward, when the media was just starting to whip itself into a frenzy about the so?called Poison Playgroup of Park Avenue, one witness would tell reporters that he had known the women were dangerous all along. He had sensed it from the moment he saw them—even before they tipped back their heads and started to scream.

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Why I love it

As a mom of four kids, a New Yorker, and the host of a literary podcast, I love reading stories that poke fun at the craziness of modern motherhood, especially those that take place in Manhattan. After long days of caretaking—especially now in the coronavirus quarantine when I’m (supposed to be) overseeing homeschooling—I crave the moment when I can fall into bed and crack open a book that I know will make me laugh. That’s why Laura Hankin’s debut novel, Happy & You Know It, was the perfect read for me.

Laura writes with quick-witted humor and a keen observer’s eye about Claire, an aspiring musician who reluctantly becomes a children’s playgroup entertainer to make ends meet. When her path intersects with one stereotypical Upper East Side playgroup, she becomes a part of their lives in unexpected ways. Not only does she begin to uncover some of their closely held secrets, but she also finds, to her surprise, compassion and a sense of sisterhood.

At times happy, at times sad, Happy & You Know It will remind readers like me that no matter how different women may seem on the outside, when you dig a little deeper to that magical place of vulnerability and truth, we’re really all quite similar. (Just try to overlook the green juice.) Thanks to Laura for providing such an entertaining read during these stressful and uncertain times.

Member ratings (18,311)

  • Kayla G.

    Portland, OR

    ADORED this book! Not something I would normally gravitate to but I couldn’t get enough! it was the perfect mixture of “Sex and the City” meets “Desperate Housewives”. I didn’t want it to end!! 10/10!

  • Vanessa I.

    Union City, CA

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! I finished in 1 day! This is like hulu’s “book club” or “working moms” its just hilarious and gossipy but at the same time you feel for the characters. Such a fast, lighthearted read.

  • Haley B.

    Denver, CO

    Five stars! I couldn’t put this book down; it’s funny, moving, dark, and joyous all at the same time. I didn’t see the twist coming. The characters are fleshed out well. Can’t wait for more from LH!

  • Leahlyn C.

    Garland, TX

    I finished this book months ago and I’m still raving about it to friends. Following multiple intertwining story lines that expose a ritzy stay at home city “mommy & me” play group in an explosive way.

  • Adrianne B.

    Macomb Township, MI

    As a mom i could connect well with these women. They seemed like they had the perfect life but they have the same pressure as any mom. Plus there is a twist that keeps them from being your avarage mom group

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Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
Honey
The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
Jackpot Summer
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Again and Again
Evil Eye
Black Cake
Maame
Romantic Comedy
Someone Else’s Shoes
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
The Bad Muslim Discount
What Comes After
Olga Dies Dreaming
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel
Monster in the Middle
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes
Honey Girl
In Every Mirror She's Black
Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?
Sankofa
The Unsinkable Greta James
The Love of My Life
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Wishing Game
Behold the Dreamers
The Mothers
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Little Fires Everywhere
The Music Shop
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
The Reckless Oath We Made
Dear Edward
When We Were Vikings
The Girl with the Louding Voice
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
All Adults Here
Happy & You Know It
Friends and Strangers
The Comeback
True Story
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Chicken Sisters
The Prophets
The Kindest Lie
In a Book Club Far Away
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Most Likely Club
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket