First, for those of you in the audience who won’t ever read anything outside of the Christian bookstore, Happy Any Day Now is not for you. What a shame that is, please reconsider that choice in reading material, as there are many excellent secular authors and Toby Devens is at the top of that pile for pure enjoyment. Her book does contain mild cursing and sexually suggestive scenes – nothing graphic, but I can understand that you won’t want your 11 year old reading the book. Nope, this is a book for adults. If you fall into that category, read on and get the low down. It’s a Five Star Amazon book, and I have to agree with that score – it’s wonderful.
I recently attended a meet-and-greet where Toby was talking about her book. She had a great story of how she came to be an author, and she did something I’d never seen done before – she read the first chapter to the audience. I sat spellbound while she read. I was fascinated with the choice of words and called the book up on Amazon.com while she was reading. I bought the book, downloaded it, and finished the first chapter reading along. The amazing internet strikes again.
Without spoiling the plot for anyone, it’s the story of a middle-aged cellist with a symphony orchestra and her approaching 50th birthday. The book opens with her fortune being told by a Korean Mudang and the first chapter ends with a twist/hook that will rip authors out of their complacency and demand they try harder. Yes, the best chapter hook I’ve ever read. Bar none.
The heroine/protagonist is half Jewish, half Korean, and half boy crazy (math does not figure in this blog.) Not as in can’t get enough men, but as in men make her insane. This should be archetypal chic lit, but it’s not. It’s a great story, extremely well told, and written in a superior manner. Toby Devens can write. She is one of those great joys who is never guilty of excess word usage. Not sparse, but right on the money. I loved reading this book.
The ending? You’d never guess it from the first 50 pages. That means you don’t suspect it until later that day when you’ve read the whole thing, ignored your family, and forgotten to eat. I plowed through the book in three days in my time after work. I was truly sorry that it wasn’t longer. But since Toby is writing another book I have that to look forward to on my Kindle.
One final thing about the book that impressed me was the questions/answers/additional material that she provided for the reader. This is the kind of thing that many Christian books do, kind of a study guide for the book. That makes this very compatible with book groups. If your book group is looking for a fun read that is readily accessible, offers insight into two other cultures, and made me laugh more than I have in a while, Happy Any Day Now is the book you seek.