I was eager to begin Happy Any Day Now as a change of pace from my usual historical romance. This contemporary meaning-of-life-and-romance book is refreshingly human and real, and has all the right amounts of happy, embarrassing, sad, and triumphant. I had not read the author or heard narrator Donna Postel before and loved finding something new and unpredictable. I was greatly rewarded; this was a captivating book with nuanced, well-executed narration. Although categorized as general fiction, it carries a satisfying romance thread.
Judith Soo Jin Raphael is a success by anyone’s definition. She is an acclaimed concert cellist for the famous Maryland Philharmonic. Her love life is passionately sparked by a sexy and fun-loving Australian, Geoff Birdsall. Judith has a close (and funny) relationship with her Korean-born mother, Grace. And yet something seems to be missing. Judith is forced to face the insecurity that comes crashing in on her with the reappearance of her father, Irwin (who is determinedly set on wooing her mother), and her ex-boyfriend, Charlie (equally determined to woo Judith).
What follows is a funny and touching spiral of events that drags Judith, kicking and screaming, into deciding what is really important in her life.
Donna Postel’s ability to juggle multiple characters with varying accents (two dissimilar Korean, an Australian, and a New York) as well as effectively differentiating the males from the females, was flat-out amazing. At the beginning of the of the audio, I had to take a few minutes to adjust to Ms. Postel’s delivery of longer non-dialogue passages; these tended to sound a little too enunciated and slightly mechanical. The minute the general narrative switched to a two-person dialogue (Judith and her mother), talking quickly back and forth in two distinctly different accents, I found myself caught up in the characters and the story. I can still hear her mother’s voice telling Judith, “Who need marriage? Better to shack up!” in a believable Korean accent. The combination of the narrator’s performance and the author’s magical turn of a phrase, is really captivating.
After Charlie, Judith’s blue-blooded guy who got away, kisses Judith, she thinks, “’I didn’t want him to stop – ever. Why did he have to stop? Apparently because he’d misplaced an appendage more important than the one that swung between his thighs…’ ‘My Blackberry. Damn. So Sorry. Really. Be Right back. Promise.’ He dashed downstairs stark naked”.
There are a few ways to measure really exceptional writing and narration. Does it make you laugh out loud? Cry? Can you forget the narration and get captivated by the story? Do you keep the car idling in the parking lot to hear more? All of these situations were present for Happy Any Day Now. I treasure audiobooks like this one.
Book Content: A
Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in
Genre: General Fiction with thread of romance
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Happy Any Day Now was provided to AudioGals for review by Tantor Audio.