I feel like I should be greeting you with air kisses today, because we’re going to Hollywood! Actually, we’re going more to the seedy underbelly of show business, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I was contacted by TLC Book Tours to take part in the tour for Caeli Wolfson Widger’s new novel, Real Happy Family, and OF COURSE I accepted. *I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Lorelai Branch is your classic desperate actress, completely absorbed with fashion, parties, and getting noticed. Her mother Colleen is content to live vicariously through Lorelai, playing the role of obsessive stage mother to a T. Robin is Lorelai’s long-suffering sister-in-law and agent, battling infertility and marital strife. Set against the backdrop of Hollywood excess and reality television, Real Happy Family gives the reader a glimpse into the dark side of show business.
Getting into this novel was a challenge for me, because I found Colleen and Lorelei’s personalities so repellent. I mean, I love watching a train wreck as much as the next gal, but yikes. I don’t think this book would have worked for me at all if it hadn’t been for Robin. Robin makes some astonishingly poor choices, but compared to Lorelei and Colleen, she’s a beacon of normalcy.
Real Happy Family is a book about Hollywood, but its look at the plight of the “might-have-beens” is a refreshing change of pace from the lifestyles of the rich and famous tomes that dominate the genre. As it turns out, you can be a hot mess without fame and fortune. The single minded pursuit of fame can destroy people just as easily. And dear lord, the drugs! So. Many. Drugs.
This book isn’t going to be for everyone. If the trials and tribulations of the overprivileged and beautiful get stuck in your craw, avoid this one. However, if you’re a fan of the occasional reality TV show (I know some of y’all watch Real Housewives on the regular), this might just be your jam. Thanks to the awesome folks at TLC Book Tours and New Harvest, you can enter to win your own copy of Real Happy Family! (Open to residents of the US and Canada.)