The Happiest Ever After by Millie Johnson

Polly Potter’s life is not going to plan. She is taken for granted by her partner, Chris, who is not willing to put any effort into their relationship, and sidelined and exploited by her misogynistic boss, Jeremy. The only thing that makes her life bearable is her creative writing class, and the novel she is writing where her heroine Sabrina is everything Polly is not. Unable to bear it any longer, Polly plans her escape, but is thwarted by what happens at the wedding vows renewal ceremony where she is forced to be a bridesmaid (in a hideous frock) to her horrible snobbish sister-in-law, Camay (great name and yes I’m old enough to remember the soap). Forced to make a run for it, she heads for the coast where she remembers being happy as a child with her uncle and aunt, only to be mugged and suffer a head injury. She wakes up in hospital believing she is Sabrina, with no memory of her life as Polly, but a strong sense that she needs to stay hidden.

This is Milly Johnson’s twenty-first novel and I’ve read and loved every one of them. She writes wonderfully believable characters (nice and nasty) and doesn’t shy away from serious issues, always treating them with sensitivity and humour. The Yorkshire settings are like characters in their own right. I really enjoyed the corporate espionage thread in this one and the sense of karma in the ending. The excerpts from The Daily Trumpet, correcting misprints but somehow managing to make them even worse, are hilarious. The Happiest Ever After is by turns heartbreaking and uplifting, and will leave you with the idea that sometimes friends are better than family as you can choose them yourself. I always read every new novel by Milly Johnson, they just keep on getting better and better, so I look forward to reading her next one very soon. Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.