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Et Ellie vécut heureuse by Harriet Evans
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Et Ellie vécut heureuse (original 2012; edition 2014)

by Harriet Evans (Author)

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1245177,099 (3.45)1
Absorbing storytelling at its very best, Happily Ever After is the compelling new read from the Sunday Times bestselling author At twenty-two, Eleanor Bee is sure about three things: she wants to move to London and become a literary superstar, she wants to be able to afford to buy a coffee and croissant every morning, and she doesn't believe in happy endings. She saw what divorce did to her parents, especially her mum: happily ever after's fine on the last page of a book, but it just doesn't happen in real life. Elle moves to London. She gets a job at Bluebird Books, a charmingly old-fashioned publishers. She falls out of pubs, wears too-short skirts, makes lots of mistakes and feels like she's learning nothing and everything at the same time. And then, out of the blue, she falls in love, and that's when she realises just how much growing up she has to do! Ten years on, and Elle's life has changed in ways she could never have predicted. Because no matter where you go and how much you try to run away, the past has a funny way of catching up with you, and Happily Ever After comes in all shapes and sizes!… (more)
Member:Raeigis
Title:Et Ellie vécut heureuse
Authors:Harriet Evans (Author)
Info:France Loisirs (2014)
Collections:Your library
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Happily Ever After by Harriet Evans (2012)

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Showing 5 of 5
So I tend to re-read this book a lot because it is a really long book. And I have to say it is not really the romance aspect of this book that causes me to still read it. It is the totally messed up circumstances that are going on in the main character's life that for some odd reason speak to me. Maybe it is because Eleanor is a flawed character that has many regrets. And it was nice to follow a character from the age of 22 to the age of 33 where they were finally starting to get their stuff together. A lot of times it makes me laugh when I read romance novels where the main character is 26 and lamenting that they are not engaged and married with two kids. Who are these people?

In Happily Ever After, we get to follow main character Eleanor Bee from the time she is 22 to when she is around 33 years old. Eleanor comes from a broken home and a mother who she is still making excuses for though all signs points to some serious issues with her mother. Practically estranged from her father and brother she throws herself headlong into the publishing business in London.

It was very interesting to see Eleanor as she was at 22 and to see how different life events had changed her over time. I think of myself at 22 (dumb as hell about a lot of things out there) and now at the age of 35 and wonder why did I find myself always giving other people so many chances to keep crapping on me. And that was what I related to a lot in this book. Eleanor seems to make up a lot of excuses for those around her and is blind to the point that her denial of what is going on in her mother's life was just sad. Eleanor is definitely flawed and that was great to see. I think a lot of times most romance novels make the heroine some perfect specimen that you don't understand how the person just does not have the perfect life.

However, besides Eleanor, the rest of the characters in the book really don't seem as well developed. For as long as this book is you would think that we could get some insight into many of the other characters mentioned. However, except for a few characters, we don't get a chance to follow them and see how they grow over time.

The writing I thought was and is still good. However, I thought the pacing was the biggest problem for me throughout this book. Things take a long time to get explained. We stick with certain plots longer than I think are needed. I think that if some sections of this book were cut out it would have made everything flow much nicer together. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Brilliant. Great story about families, growing up and how the past affects the present. Funny, real and sad. ( )
  sarahpeacock28 | Oct 21, 2018 |
I really wanted to like this one a lot more I've had this book for awhile and thought I'd finally get around to reading it in honor of the big snowstorm: let's celebrating by reading a big long book! While it started off well (I even though of checking out her other books), I soon saw that it's too long, needs a lot more editing and actually should have ended a lot sooner.
 
Elle dreams of becoming a big wig in the publishing industry. We watch as she struggles to make her way through university and up the ranks of the lowest rungs of the publishing ladder. Throw in a couple of love affairs, family issues and a young woman finding herself and you have this book.
 
Initially I found Evans' style really engaging. And I think she is a really good writer (enough to keep me interested in the story). But wow did the book desperately need editing. I would have been fine with a chick-lit-ish book that's also a coming of age tale plus some family drama. But overall it got disappointing. I predicted a certain character's death and was disappointed to find I was right. The story actually resolves itself a lot (or should have) 100 pages sooner. The text overall needed more tightening and reduction especially towards the end. The last romantic Elle has in the book seems more like a plot device rather than anything else (she keeps sleeping with the wrong guys but we don't quite see how she ends up with the "right" one).
 
It's a pity because there are aspects of this story that I could really identify with: the family drama, the career struggles (I've known people trying to get the leg up in the publishing industry), etc. But I didn't really feel Elle developed as a character. The author has a slightly annoying habit of fast forwarding over a period of years where some of these are relevant to the plot (such as Elle moving to the US post 9/11), I increasingly got the feeling it was a lazy way of showing how Elle was supposedly maturing as time marched on.
 
I will give her credit for not quite making this tie in with the title. With a title like 'Happily Ever After' you might think this is a happy go lucky, all loose ties done and up by the end of the book. It was nice to see that no, not quite. Although Elle gets some resolution in some aspects, she acknowledges that maybe others (like whether she'd ever like her sister-in-law) won't actually come to fruition. Some people might be annoyed that it's not quite "happy" but I appreciate the realism that it's not always so.
 
It's not terrible but I regret buying it. It'd make a good bargain book to read for a long plane ride or if you're stuck somewhere and need to be able to dump this book for space/weight issues in the luggage. Maybe library instead. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
I started off actually liking this well enough, as the set-up was very powerful. I particularly enjoyed Elle’s difficult relationship with her brother – that scene at the start when they’re children is simply brilliant. Sadly, we don’t stay in this childhood moment as we’re quickly tumbled into Elle as a young woman trying to make her way in the publishing world

Entirely due to the great start, I was prepared to give Elle the benefit of the doubt and kept my determination going for a good 100 pages or so. Gradually it dawned on me that, no matter how much I tried to deny it as a reader, Elle is simply a doormat, and a dull one to boot. Sorry, but she just is. Yes, I know she’s a borderline alcoholic with an alcoholic mother, and surely medically depressed, but every time there’s a crisis she simply just keels over and agrees with whoever the strongest person in any particular scene is. I have to say it’s never her. If you want interesting depressive and/or alcoholic women in your fiction, you’re better off with Marian Keyes. However, there was one moment when I got rather excited because Elle was about to launch into a very justified row with her bitchy boss, but the moment said boss challenges her, Ellie gives in and just agrees. Sigh …

There’s also an allegedly torrid affair between her and another boss, Rory, whom she’s obsessive about but really I just didn’t believe anyone would be interested enough in her to bother. That goes for the on-off relationship with an ex-colleague too – and the moment when she realises (no serious spoilers here) that he’s fathered a child by someone else has to be one of the great clichés of romantic fiction – so clichéd that I couldn’t help but laugh uproariously. Sorry …

Then the storyline jumps again and we’re a few years on and she’s living and working in New York. Sadly she’s not any more interesting than she was in the UK and for the rest of the book, I did even more sighing. The relationships she has with the two possible men she’s supposed to be with are worryingly unrealistic, and indeed neither man is very nice or even interesting. As a result, the ending is nonsensical. Or would have been if I’d cared enough about what happens to her. If the novel had lost 150 pages or so, it might have been better as Elle wouldn’t have been so intensely boring and irritating. That said, the book covers she’s responsible for in her publishing job sound nice – maybe these pictures should have been included in the novel as they would certainly have been more riveting than our heroine. Oh well.

Verdict: 2 stars. Decent enough plot, but a too dim and unlikeable heroine ( )
  AnneBrooke | Dec 1, 2014 |
I’ve read Harriet Evans before and enjoyed her books, unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much. I loved the fact that it was set around the world of books and publishing but from the start, I didn’t like the main character, Elle and didn’t engage with her throughout the book. As a naïve and daft 22 year old, going into raptures over having post it notes and a computer on her desk in her new job, she just didn’t seem believable. As she grew older, I didn’t like the person that she became. She has a difficult relationship with her family, her parents divorced because of her mother’s fondness for alcohol and she doesn’t have an easy relationship with her brother. She keeps the feeling of guilt and failure (in her eyes) most of the way through and a lot of the time I wanted to shake her away from her feeling of responsibility for other people, in particular, her mother. Despite the fluffy looking cover, the book covers some darker issues like alcoholism and how easy it can be to go down that road and how decisions made by others can affect you for life.

Elle does go on to make a success of her career but her feeling of guilt and not belonging have a knock on effect on her relationships until eventually she has to decide which it is she actually wants from life. I did like the book, but I wasn’t engrossed by it. ( )
  Karen-uk | Nov 24, 2013 |
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For Lynne with thanks for everything and love x x
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A Happy Ending for Me by Eleanor Bee
They laugh at me, the girls in the canteen,
But one day I will laugh at them.
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Absorbing storytelling at its very best, Happily Ever After is the compelling new read from the Sunday Times bestselling author At twenty-two, Eleanor Bee is sure about three things: she wants to move to London and become a literary superstar, she wants to be able to afford to buy a coffee and croissant every morning, and she doesn't believe in happy endings. She saw what divorce did to her parents, especially her mum: happily ever after's fine on the last page of a book, but it just doesn't happen in real life. Elle moves to London. She gets a job at Bluebird Books, a charmingly old-fashioned publishers. She falls out of pubs, wears too-short skirts, makes lots of mistakes and feels like she's learning nothing and everything at the same time. And then, out of the blue, she falls in love, and that's when she realises just how much growing up she has to do! Ten years on, and Elle's life has changed in ways she could never have predicted. Because no matter where you go and how much you try to run away, the past has a funny way of catching up with you, and Happily Ever After comes in all shapes and sizes!

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