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Real Happy Family: A Novel by [Widger, Caeli Wolfson]
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Real Happy Family: A Novel Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Length: 375 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A witty debut that puts an entertaining reality TV spin on a perennial topic:  mother-daughter dysfunction." —People

"The leading ladies here are the stuff of reality-show legend, but Widger's supporting cast are the ones who are impossible not to watch.  One couple blunders through infertility; the other grapples with authenticity and aging.  We were pulling for the whole gang — and loved the surprise twists at the end." —Glamour

“This entertaining debut novel unsparingly takes on damaged family ecosystems and the show-business machine. Widger has created a delicate suspension bridge out of her characters’ relationships to one another and the world, and throughout the course of the novel, she steadily, craftily adds weight, making for compulsive reading.” Kirkus Reviews

Real Happy Family, Caeli Wolfson Widger’s debut novel, is an authentic story about the artifice of reality television and America’s obsession with it. It’s no small order to find depth in a genre synonymous with vapid depravity, but Widger does — not in the shows themselves, but in the complicated dynamics of a family willing to put their dysfunction on display…  Set primarily in Los Angeles, the novel resembles the city itself, where a superficial veneer belies a more complicated truth… Widger’s prose really moves; it’s as if she has her foot on the accelerator the entire time. The novel’s shifting perspective is most fun when Lorelei is at the wheel — reading her is like partying with a speed freak without the awful comedown.” Los Angeles Review of Books

“Widger skewers Hollywood fame hunters in her sharply funny debut...a thoroughly enjoyable read.” —Booklist

Real Happy Family is a cautionary tale about conscienceless reality TV producers, the desperate people who believe reality TV can kickstart a “Hollywood” career, and the lengths that these people will go to “make it,” even at the expense of family, health, and morals.” Sarah’s Bookshelves

“I loved that this wasn’t a fluffy-take on reality TV or a profile of a “struggling” actress. It feels real and borderline scandalous in a man-behind-the-curtain way, without being sensationalized with the glitz and glamour of typical celeb-fiction reads. To top it all off, it’s smart and witty, in all of the right places.” —BellingFam

Real Happy Family is a book about Hollywood, but its look at the plight of the “might-have-beens” is a refreshing change of pace from the lifestyles of the rich and famous tomes that dominate the genre. As it turns out, you can be a hot mess without fame and fortune.” —Words for Worms

“Cinematic in its rendering, Real Happy Family glides effortlessly between the lives of characters living the underbelly and upper crust of the Hollywood dream, and the bottom dwellers who feed off the fallout. With the precision of an expert director, Widger leads the reader gawking and cringing past the train wrecks of Colleen and Lorelei, but exposes their hearts, and somehow leaves you cheering for a real happy ending for them all.” —Chandra Hoffman, author of Chosen

“Reminiscent of The Corrections, Caeli Wolfson Widger's Real Happy Family is everything you hope for from a first novel but rarely find: a must-keep-reading-even-though-it's-2 am-plot packed with turbo-flawed yet loveable characters, all capped off with electric prose. I could not put it down. Had me hooked from page one. Bound to be read and talked about from coast to coast. I feel lucky to have been in on the secret before the rest of the country discovers Widger's smart and funny debut.” —Deirdre Shaw, author of Love or Something Like It

Real Happy Family is the twenty-first century version of Nathanael West's Day of the Locust, a report in 2013 on what has happen to West's Hollywood—and America—during the last seventy-five years.  Like West's book, it is both an anatomy of the times and a prophecy of our continuing confusion.” —Jay Martin, author of Nathanael West: The Art of His Life

About the Author

Caeli Wolfson Widger received her MFA in poetry from the University of Montana. Her work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine and The Madison Review.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3206 KB
  • Print Length: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (1 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DZQE2Y6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #242,934 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book for a while then stopped. It was monotonous in describing disgusting behaviour by characters one disliked on sight and gave no sign a let up or of anyone learning from their experience.
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By Laura Smith VINE VOICE on 8 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this book, it was non stop! Set against a backdrop of reality TV, I found it to be very close to the bone but accurate. Although the characters are not very endearing, they are very real and never boring. Sure, I don't live this lifestyle and never will, but it all seemed to be very realistic to me and not at all over the top. A fun, fast paced read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never read such a disjointed load of rubbish in my life it was such a terrible book. I kept waiting for it to improve in some way. I do not give it two stars, in fact, I would not even give it half. I did not care about the characters in the least. At least I know my next read has to be better than this rubbish. Don't waste your money on this trash
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Funny, sad and page-turning. I liked the author's writing style, fast pace, unlikeable but all too human characters and the cynical look at the current sociocultural obsession (in the US and UK anyway) with 'fame' and reality TV. Well done Caeil Wolfson Widger, I look forward to your next book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good. Enjoyed the story very much and made me glad my daughter never got involved with drugs!! Loved the different characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this book and whizzed through it. It explores really current themes whilst giving back stories to each character. Brilliant!
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