The Happy Couple

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781474613491

Price: £16.99

ON SALE: 25th May 2023

Genre: Health & Personal Development

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‘A brilliant contemporary novel’ COLM TÓIBÍN
‘So witty, observant and wise’ MARIAN KEYES
I am fully in awe of Dolan’s talent’ DOUGLAS STUART
A dazzling follow-up to Exciting TimesKATHERINE HEINY

Meet the wedding party:

Celine and Luke are meant to get married and live happily ever after. But Celine’s more interested in playing the piano, and Luke’s a serial cheater.

Phoebe, Celine’s sister, is meant to finish college and get a real job. Instead she pulls pints, lives with six flatmates, and has no long-term aspirations beyond smoking her millionth cigarette.

Archie, Luke’s best friend and ex-boyfriend, is meant to move up the corporate ladder and on from Luke. Yet he stands where he is, admiring the view.

Vivian, Luke’s other best friend and other ex, was meant to put up with Luke’s bullshit when they dated. But she didn’t. And now she is contented, methodically observing her friends like ants.

As the wedding approaches and these five lives intersect, each character will find themselves looking for a path to their happily ever after – but does it lie at the end of an aisle?

From the author of Exciting Times, this is a sparkling ensemble novel about love and marriage, fidelity and betrayal, that is both ferociously clever and supremely enjoyable


Fun, addictive and laced with astute observations
'A taut, witty tale'
Daily Mirror
A deep dive into love, betrayal, monogamy and sexuality. Sensational
Daily Mail
I just finished The Happy Couple and I loved it - an extremely funny examination of modern love, with depth, bite and poignancy
Daisy Buchanan, author of INSATIABLE
Fiercely intelligent, brutally funny and written with such heart, EXCITING TIMES announces an impressive new voice in literature
Nathan Filer, on EXCITING TIMES
One of the most talked about books for 2023
Naoise Dolan's prose accommodates equally well a quickening heart and a mind on fire
Joshua Ferris, on EXCITING TIMES
Endlessly funny, endlessly inventive - a bold and stylish novel that slipped down and burned like a shot of something lovely
Rebecca Wait, author of I’M SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY
I found myself purring with pleasure. This is comic writing at the highest level
Craig Brown, on EXCITING TIMES
The funniest writer you will read this year. Every page crackles
Irish Independent, on EXCITING TIMES
A sharp, smart, witty modern love story. I loved it
David Nicholls, on EXCITING TIMES
A cracking ensemble, The Happy Couple is a beautiful sonata about our relationships and a sad fugue for fear and loneliness. The book is a tough, all-engrossing love-test. Dolan's acerbic humour is unapologetically analytical. She breaks the rule of intimacy with wit and panache that are second to none. I was kept on tenterhooks till the last few pages and my heart wouldn't stop pounding afterwards. I don't want to say goodbye to Luke and Celine.
Kit Fan, author of DIAMOND HILL
The Happy Couple rises towards an affecting ending that asks what illusions and armour one has to shed in order to feel free
Witty, compelling, with a razor-sharp social commentary. I guzzled it
Pandora Sykes, on EXCITING TIMES
I had real fun with Exciting Times. It is a very funny, spiky, Marxist, feminist comedy and it's really mean
Zadie Smith, on EXCITING TIMES
The Happy Couple is a dazzling follow-up to Exciting Times. Dolan spins her magic again with humour and insight and the sharpest of prose. Not a word out of place
A darkly funny, clever look at modern relationships with a wonderful cast of maddening yet endearing characters
Witty and insightful... a complete winner
The Happy Couple reminded me of Muriel Spark in its precision of language and emotion
Emma Forrest, author of BUSY BEING FREE
Using daring, exciting sentences and close, sharp observation, The Happy Couple is a brilliant contemporary novel
I ran through my proof copy in a few greedy hours, enjoying the snark Dolanisms and the way she toys with form
The Times
The Happy Couple is one of those rare novels that feel like it's been written just for you. It's precisely what I love to read: engaging, fast-paced, hilarious, but still tender and moving. Also, is Dolan an actual genius? The pages just sparkle with smartness. It's a true joy to read, I adored it from the first page to the last
Jenny Mustard, author of Okay Days
Ice cool, self-aware and very funny. Shares of Lorrie Moore and The Bell Jar
Graham Norton, on EXCITING TIMES
The Happy Couple is just as satisfying as Exciting Times, and deals with class, money, gender dynamics and bisexuality with similar ease. Set between London and Dublin, it is a beautiful exploration of love, fidelity - and whether either are compatible with marriage
Pandora Sykes
I pure LOVED The Happy Couple. So witty, observant, wise and funny. Nihilistic about heteronormative relationships but so charmingly done I barely noticed. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it
Marian Keyes
Sharp, hilarious - and cuttingly observant!
Woman & Home
I loved everything about this ferociously clever contemporary reworking of the marriage plot. Sensational.
Daily Mail
Droll, shrewd and unafraid
Hilary Mantel, on EXCITING TIMES
The Happy Couple hooked me the way that heteronormativity hooks its ambivalent protagonists. Dolan's prose absolutely crackles with wit, humour, and empathy
Clare Fisher, author of ALL THE GOOD THINGS
Dolan, whose debut novel Exciting Times was a storming success, is sure to bring her sparkling wit and insightful understanding of human relationships to this second outing
Irish Independent
This book confirms her as an artful comic novelist with a distinctive signature style
The Telegraph
Smart and sharp on 21st century love and loneliness
This novel is a joy to read
Literary Review
A funny and perceptive play on the traditional marriage plot that cements Dolan as one of the cleverest, most amusing new writers around. Marriage, it seems, is a laughing matter
The i paper
This is a warm and sympathetic novel, ready to let even its worst offenders off the hook
The Observer
Sassy and smart and wickedly funny, Dolan's voice is uniquely her own. I inhaled every irreverent page
Ruth Gilligan, author of THE BUTCHERS
It's flawless
Colm Tóibín, on EXCITING TIMES
A sophisticated character study of a young couple coming to terms with their relationship, in this biting, whip-smart look at modern love and the tangled messes we leave behind us. I am fully in awe of Dolan's talent. And so glad my twenties are over
Douglas Stuart, author of YOUNG MUNGO and SHUGGIE BAIN