Book Review: The Theory of Happily Ever After

The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck is the story of Dr. Maggie Maguire, the leading doctor of happiness. Miserable after her life falls apart, she questions the accuracy of her research and the purpose of her life. On the surface she is on top of the world and has achieved more than others dream of, but inside she feels the need to recalculate. With the help of her two best friends she finds herself on a singles cruise, making a speech she doesn’t believe in anymore. But, as with many things in life, a change in scenery and a new perspective highlights the truths formerly in shadow. The combined influence of old and new friends resets her resolve and she finds a new direction and the knowledge of real love.

The premise of this book is good and there is an unexpected twist as well. It was however, very hard for me to get passed Maggie’s constant narration in her head. For an accomplished doctor in her thirties, the maturity of her thoughts reflect that of a teenager. I give this book two stars. I found myself skipping large sections of Maggie’s aimless thought as most of it was unnecessary to the plot.

Another reason for the lower rating was the lack of insight from the other characters. Being solely on Maggie’s end of perception made for a boring read. I prefer to understand the perspective of the other characters too.

Finally, I find the timeline to be a bit annoying. Chapters would cover the events of one day making the developing love interest seem like it’s happening over the period of several months, but it’s not. Maggie finds all her answers at the end of a seven day cruise. This is hard for me to reconcile with the reality of life. All in all, two stars. An easy read, entertaining enough for a plane, but in the setting of my own home, I had to choose to finish.