With the verve and bite of My Year of Rest and Relaxation and the wisecracking sensibility of a golden-age Hollywood heroine, Marlowe Granados’s stunning début brilliantly captures a summer of striving in New York City.
Refreshing and wry in equal measure, Happy Hour is an intoxicating novel of youth well spent.
Isa Epley is twenty-one years old and wise enough to understand that the purpose of life is the pursuit of pleasure. In her diary she chronicles her New York City adventure during the sweltering summer of 2013. By day, Isa and her best friend, Gala, sell clothes in a market stall, pinching pennies for their Bed-Stuy sublet and bodega lunches. By night, they weave from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side among a rotating cast of celebrities, artists, and bad-mannered grifters. Money runs ever tighter and the strain tests their friendship as they try to convert their social capital into something more lasting. Through it all, Isa’s bold, beguiling voice captures the precise thrill of cultivating a life of glamour and intrigue as she juggles paying her dues with skipping out on the bill.
Happy Hour announces a dazzling new talent in Marlowe Granados, whose exquisite wit recalls Anita Loos’s 1925 classic, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, updated to evoke a recent, golden period of hope and transformation. A cri de cœur for party girls and anyone who has ever felt entitled to an adventure of their own, Happy Hour is an effervescent tonic for the ails of contemporary life.
Selected praise for Happy Hour:
“Marlowe Granados’s Happy Hour is as refreshing as a gin fizz. It is a wild careening joyride through a hot sultry summer in New York in 2013, and it evokes that time with such sparkling specificity that you can feel the heat coming off the pavement. If you are looking for romance, ambition, glamour, and a story about what it means to be young and striving in the city, this is your song of the summer.”
—Rachel Syme, New Yorker staff writer
“Happy Hour is a wild ride with a brilliantly cocky young protagonist who’s got the world wrapped around her finger. So propulsive you’ll feel like you’ve been hypnotized.”
—Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People
“A dreamy account of one heady summer, Marlowe Granados’s début is a dispatch from another land; not only New York City, but youth itself. Happy Hour is aptly titled—it’s an intoxicating little book, at once heartbreaking and joyful.”
—Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind, Rich and Pretty, and That Kind of Mother
“Happy Hour is filled with charm, memorable insight, and witty aperçus, adding up to the realization that life, while unfair, is antic enough to be worth all the trouble.”
—A. S. Hamrah, author of The Earth Dies Streaming
“Happy Hour feels like a secret casually revealed in a hotel lobby bathroom as you fix your lipstick and a breathless whisper at six in the morning when it’s too hot to sleep. Marlowe Granados writes sparkling prose with tenderness and unexpected depth. Happy Hour is a spellbinding début.”
—Amy Jones, author of We’re All in This Together and Every Little Piece of Me
“[Happy Hour is] about being young, grabbing life by the tail and enjoying it to the full. . . . Its tone reminds me of early Edna O’Brien, with its worldly outlook, its wit — and its obvious smarts.” —Deborah Dundas, Toronto Star
“Under Happy Hour’s glittering surface runs a witty tone of necessary critique, a fun hint of mockery, and the vital celebration of everyday joy. It is a book that wisely lives in the moment and encourages us to do the same.”
—Stacey May Fowles, Quill & Quire