The Happiest Ever After | Milly Johnson

The Happiest Ever After book cover


The immediate sensation in picking up The Happiest Ever After is one of being in completely safe hands, relaxed into the narrative and totally absorbed in a story you know you’ll love. It’s truly wonderful.

The Happiest Ever After has all Milly Johnson’s trademark understanding of human nature presented with wit and emotion. We get right under the skin of even the most minor character. And what fabulous characters they are, so brilliantly depicted they feel like friends who have been in our lives for years.

The Happiest Ever After: Synopsis & Review

Protagonist Polly epitomises the delights, frustrations and experiences so many women have. The changes in her life might be precipitated by unusual events, but Johnson has the reader cheering for Polly every step of the way.

There’s a perfect balance of strength and vulnerability in the characters; both men and women encompass the full spectrum of likability and unpleasantness – what happens to some of them leaves us cheering out loud! It goes without saying that there might be a tear shed too…

The themes presented in The Happiest Ever After are profound and layered, with institutional corruption, sexism, grief, identity and crime making the story dramatic and compelling. The twists and turns along the way are thoroughly entertaining, so gripping and interesting that I couldn’t put the book down. However, there’s a real lightness of touch too, with love, family and friendship acting as the glue holding everyone together. This is proper, skilled and riveting storytelling, yet it remains accessible, understandable and believable.

In among all the action, and just when events reach their most intense, the Daily Trumpet sections bring humour and joy. I confess I snorted with laughter and drove my husband mad reading out various passages.

It’s quite hard to review The Happiest Ever After without revealing too much of the story, but this narrative is Milly Johnson at her warmest, most authentic, best. From the dedication at the start to the acknowledgements at the end, The Happiest Ever After is a true treat of a book and simply not to be missed. I adored it!

The Happiest Ever After is out from February 15, 2024 (Simon & Schuster, HB, £16.99) and available from Amazon.

Read more fiction reviews by Linda Hill including The Memory of Us by Dani Atkins, The Due Date by Niki Mackay and The Fortunes of Olivia Richmond by Louise Davidson.