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Alice Hartley's Happiness [Paperback]

Philippa Gregory
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

20 Aug 2009

Social mores come under bestselling author Philippa Gregory’s acute scrutiny in this reissue of a long-unavailable novel of betrayal, revenge and liberation…

Alice Hartley can no longer arouse the interest of her pompous husband, the adulterous professor. Despite her efforts, she still leaves him cold.

Just as she is compelled to face this chilling truth, she meets Michael, a young student with an excessive libido. In Michael, Alice discovers an endless supply of all she has sought: revenge, sex and a large house suitable for conversion.

Soon the house is thigh-deep with women joyfully casting off the shacles of their oppression. Sadly, some narrow-minded neigbours and numerous forces of the law seem completely impervious to all those healing vibrations…

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  • Click here to read an extract from Philippa Gregory's novel, Alice Hartley's Happiness. [pdf]

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; paperback / softback edition (20 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006514650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006514657
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.

Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country.

Product Description


Praise for Philippa Gregory:

‘Philippa Gregory… is a mesmerizing storyteller.’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

‘Fascinating… engrossing… mesmerising… riveting… compelling… a pacey narrative that is just begging to be read in one sitting.’ SUNDAY EXPRESS

‘A rich brew of passion and intrigue.’ DAILY MAIL

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is an internationally renowned author of historical novels. She holds a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. Works that have been adapted for television include A Respectable Trade, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool. The Other Boleyn Girl is now a major film, starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. Philippa Gregory lives in the North of England with her family.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars sorry just awful and painful to read 1 April 2012
I have only read The Little House which was ok but I thought I would give this one a go even though I wasn't entirely sure I would like it. I was determined to get to the end as it's not a long book to read but it is incredibly painful to read! I am glad I am not alone in my thoughts. It's too far-fetched and just silly to even be enjoyable. I'm not sure if PG was on drugs when she wrote it or just having a breakdown but I have to say that if this was the first book I had ever read of hers and I didn't know about "The Other Boleyn Girl" then I would never touch another of her novels. I'm sure the intention is to be a "light comedy" but the characters are just not likeable. I give it one star because the front cover is ok!! I would give it no stars if I could. I hate to be writing a very negative review but I do think that anyone who loves PG's books and hasn't read this should be warned - and my advice would be to avoid it completely so that your opinion of her isn't affected.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wasn't expecting that! 26 Oct 2009
I have read all of Philippa Gregory's books and this is unlike any of them. The story follows Alice Hartley as she decides to leave her husband because she is bored with him and her life. She moves into a large house (kind of owned by her new teenage lover) and sets up a growth centre which includes all types of different therapies. The therapies include sexual therapies and drug induced orgies. This book is VERY different from Gregory's normal historical stories. If you tackle this as a stand-alone book, you will enjoy it but don't be disappointed that it is nothing like her other books.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did PG really write this? 26 Oct 2009
I read the first page in the book shop, and the writing seemed excellent and the scene was perfectly conveyed; smug professor about to dump loyal wife. Instead the book meanders along in some surreal farce. Alice never came to life. She just uttered hippy new age cliches. The Little House was one of my favourite books and I loved The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritence... so I was expecting something better than this drivel.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strange! 13 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a very strange book and nothing like any other that Philippa Gregory has written. I think it must have been one of her first novels and it certainly was not one of her best. It was written at a time of sex, drugs and rock and roll but it does not tie together very well. The story of Aunt Sarah dying and then coming back to life TWICE was just too far fetched I love Gegory's historical books but this one is nothing like any of them
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rather silly from such an acclaimed author. 5 May 2011
By Wendy
I have read much of Philippa Gregory's writing - her historical works are quite wonderful and her " The Little House" modern novel made compelling reading. I eagerly bought and began reading "The Happiness - - etc." The first two pages promised well but it then became sillier and sillier - so much so that I found it hard to believe an author like PG could publish such drivel. After an afternoon in the garden trying to stick with it, I actually tossed the book in my recycling bag. I can't ever before remember throwing away a book, but I could think of nobody I knew who would appreciate being given it. What on earth did she intend by writing such rubbish?!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTED 18 Nov 2009
I am an avid fan of Gregory's books, I have read quite a few now. I have to agree with the reviews already written and say it was very unlike anything she has written before, if its aim was to be farcical then she succeeded. Maybe my expectations based on her previous novels did not prepare me for this book. I am afraid I cannot think of anything positive to say about this story, but it certainly will not put me off any future novels. I will just ensure I stick to her historic books as this is what she does best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and witty! 5 May 2014
Alice in her 40's is at the prime of her life but her husband is boring and worse of all having an affair with one of his young students. Chance leads her into the arms of 20 year old Michael who has inherited a large house and together they decided to make it a sanctuary for those seeking alternative therapies . Making money hand over fist by charging for her therapy , Alice is happy and besotted. But not everyone in the village is happy and just as she believes things are working well for her there is someone to put a spanner in the works!
We are introduced to some fantastic characters, I loved Aunt Sarah and the Vicar, both had me laughing hard. A short, witty but dark humoured book that was right up my street.
A lot of people seem to be comparing this to her historical work which I adore but they are two very different genres and why not have a little escapism in this little gem of a book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment! 11 April 2011
By Elaine
It was clear from very early on that this wasn't going to be the usual Philippa Gregory style and I was prepared to be entertained by some tongue in cheek humour - but this was, quite frankly, a lot of rubbish!! Think she should stick to what she is good at - and it ain't this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars quirky but strangely compelling.
I am sure Alice is in all of us and she got out. Love Aunty Sarah back from the dead!
Published 15 days ago by Mrs Margaret A Holy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Not her usual style of writing but funny and off beat
Published 1 month ago by Brenda N
1.0 out of 5 stars I am a third of the way through this book ...
I am a third of the way through this book & I am giving up. It is not what I expected. It is silly but not amusing.
Published 1 month ago by G BOWDEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you like Phillipa Grehory you will enjoy this book
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. Sheila Buchanan
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Only read 12% and gave up!
Published 2 months ago by Hilary Mee
4.0 out of 5 stars Very different, a surprise from Philippa Gregory
I was quite surprised by this book - it was unexpected and very different to Gregory's other novels. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Soogles
5.0 out of 5 stars Phillipa Gregory
is probably best known for her historically based novels, so this book is a bit of a surprise. It will make you laugh out loud. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Janet Banfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice Hartleys Happiness
Phillipa Gregory at her best, with such a high standard set it must be difficult to continue at this level - but she always does.
Published 8 months ago by Malcolm Gregory
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick read.
A much smaller book than Philippa Gregory's normal offerings but interesting as a light read on holiday to be left behind for the next reader .
Published 8 months ago by Carol Avery
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
As usual with Philippa Gregory's books this was a fantastic read. Couldn't put it down! Very easy to get into and to just drift away from real life! :-)
Published 8 months ago by katie Applin
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