The Happy Couple

Shortlisted for the Kerry Group Novel of the Year

Naoise Dolan author


Publisher:Orion Publishing Co

Published:25th May '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

The Happy Couple cover

'A brilliant contemporary novel' COLM TÓIBÍN
'So witty, observant and wise' MARIAN KEYES
'I am fully in awe of Dolan's talent' DOUGLAS STUART
'A dazzling follow-up to Exciting Times' KATHERINE HEINY

Meet the wedding party:

Celine and Luke are meant to get married and live happily ever after. But Celine's more interested in playing the piano, and Luke's a serial cheater.

Phoebe, Celine's sister, is meant to finish college and get a real job. Instead she pulls pints, lives with six flatmates, and has no long-term aspirations beyond smoking her millionth cigarette.

Archie, Luke's best friend and ex-boyfriend, is meant to move up the corporate ladder and on from Luke. Yet he stands where he is, admiring the view.

Vivian, Luke's other best friend and other ex, was meant to put up with Luke's bullshit when they dated. But she didn't. And now she is contented, methodically observing her friends like ants.

As the wedding approaches and these five lives intersect, each character will find themselves looking for a path to their happily ever after - but does it lie at the end of an aisle?

From the author of Exciting Times, this is a sparkling ensemble novel about love and marriage, fidelity and betrayal, that is both ferociously clever and supremely enjoyable

I pure LOVED The Happy Couple. So witty, observant, wise and funny. Nihilistic about heteronormative relationships but so charmingly done I barely noticed. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it -- Marian Keyes
Dolan, whose debut novel Exciting Times was a storming success, is sure to bring her sparkling wit and insightful understanding of human relationships to this second outing * Irish Independent *
Sassy and smart and wickedly funny, Dolan's voice is uniquely her own. I inhaled every irreverent page -- Ruth Gilligan, author of THE BUTCHERS
I just finished The Happy Couple and I loved it - an extremely funny examination of modern love, with depth, bite and poignancy -- Daisy Buchanan, author of INSATIABLE
A cracking ensemble, The Happy Couple is a beautiful sonata about our relationships and a sad fugue for fear and loneliness. The book is a tough, all-engrossing love-test. Dolan's acerbic humour is unapologetically analytical. She breaks the rule of intimacy with wit and panache that are second to none. I was kept on tenterhooks till the last few pages and my heart wouldn't stop pounding afterwards. I don't want to say goodbye to Luke and Celine. -- Kit Fan, author of DIAMOND HILL
Endlessly funny, endlessly inventive - a bold and stylish novel that slipped down and burned like a shot of something lovely -- Rebecca Wait, author of I’M SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY
A sophisticated character study of a young couple coming to terms with their relationship, in this biting, whip-smart look at modern love and the tangled messes we leave behind us. I am fully in awe of Dolan's talent. And so glad my twenties are over -- Douglas Stuart, author of YOUNG MUNGO and SHUGGIE BAIN
The Happy Couple is a dazzling follow-up to ExcitingTimes. Dolan spins her magic again with humour and insight and the sharpest of prose. Not a word out of place -- KATHERINE HEINY, author of STANDARD DEVIATION and EARLY MORNING RISER
The Happy Couple is just as satisfying as Exciting Times, and deals with class, money, gender dynamics and bisexuality with similar ease. Set between London and Dublin, it is a beautiful exploration of love, fidelity - and whether either are compatible with marriage -- Pandora Sykes
TheHappyCouple is one of those rare novels that feel like it's been written just for you. It's precisely what I love to read: engaging, fast-paced, hilarious, but still tender and moving. Also, is Dolan an actual genius? The pages just sparkle with smartness. It's a true joy to read, I adored it from the first page to the last -- Jenny Mustard, author of Okay Days
Using daring, exciting sentences and close, sharp observation, The Happy Couple is a brilliant contemporary novel -- COLM TÓIBÍN
The Happy Couple hooked me the way that heteronormativity hooks its ambivalent protagonists. Dolan's prose absolutely crackles with wit, humour, and empathy -- Clare Fisher, author of ALL THE GOOD THINGS
The Happy Couple reminded me of Muriel Spark in its precision of language and emotion -- Emma Forrest, author of BUSY BEING FREE
Fun, addictive and laced with astute observations * Vogue *
A deep dive into love, betrayal, monogamy and sexuality. Sensational * Daily Mail *
One of the most talked about books for 2023 * Stylist *
A funny and perceptive play on the traditional marriage plot that cements Dolan as one of the cleverest, most amusing new writers around. Marriage, it seems, is a laughing matter * The i paper *
The Happy Couple rises towards an affecting ending that asks what illusions and armour one has to shed in order to feel free * Observer *
The funniest writer you will read this year. Every page crackles -- Irish Independent, on EXCITING TIMES
Droll, shrewd and unafraid -- Hilary Mantel, on EXCITING TIMES
Witty, compelling, with a razor-sharp social commentary. I guzzled it -- Pandora Sykes, on EXCITING TIMES
It's flawless -- Colm Tóibín, on EXCITING TIMES
I found myself purring with pleasure. This is comic writing at the highest level -- Craig Brown, on EXCITING TIMES
Ice cool, self-aware and very funny. Shares of Lorrie Moore and The Bell Jar -- Graham Norton, on EXCITING TIMES
I had real fun with Exciting Times. It is a very funny, spiky, Marxist, feminist comedy and it's really mean -- Zadie Smith, on EXCITING TIMES
A sharp, smart, witty modern love story. I loved it -- David Nicholls, on EXCITING TIMES
Naoise Dolan's prose accommodates equally well a quickening heart and a mind on fire -- Joshua Ferris, on EXCITING TIMES
Fiercely intelligent, brutally funny and written with such heart, EXCITING TIMES announces an impressive new voice in literature -- Nathan Filer, on EXCITING TIMES
'A taut, witty tale' * Daily Mirror *
Sharp, hilarious - and cuttingly observant! * Woman & Home *
I loved everything about this ferociously clever contemporary reworking of the marriage plot. Sensational. * Daily Mail *
This book confirms her as an artful comic novelist with a distinctive signature style * The Telegraph *
I ran through my proof copy in a few greedy hours, enjoying the snark Dolanisms and the way she toys with form * The Times *
This is a warm and sympathetic novel, ready to let even its worst offenders off the hook * The Observer *
Witty and insightful... a complete winner * Glamour *
This novel is a joy to read * Literary Review *
Smart and sharp on 21st century love and loneliness * Grazia *
A darkly funny, clever look at modern relationships with a wonderful cast of maddening yet endearing characters * Red *

ISBN: 9781474613491

Dimensions: 218mm x 140mm x 30mm

Weight: 400g

288 pages