cover image So Happy for You

So Happy for You

Celia Laskey. Hanover Square, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-335-42690-1

Laskey (Under the Rainbow) sends up the wedding industrial complex in this enjoyable and darkly comic outing. Robin Hawkins, a lesbian and self-described “rabid feminist,” loathes weddings, pumpkin spice lattes, and everything suburban and heteronormative. She is comfortably ensconced in her “liberal-queer bubble” when her estranged high school best friend Ellie announces her engagement and asks Robin to be her maid of honor. The novel is set in a slightly different version of reality in which the American government aggressively incentivizes young people to wed, and where single women are labeled “leftovers” at 27 and “rotten” at 35 on social media. Also, the high divorce rate has created a cottage industry of “wedding charm” rituals meant to ensure the success rate of each union; some are as benign as carrying bouquets of garlic and sage to “ward off evil marriage-ruining spirits,” while others, like at Ellie’s wedding, involve blood sacrifice. Robin continues to ignore her better judgment as ominous events befall the bridal party, among them a near drowning, and Ellie’s behavior grows increasingly unhinged. Though a few outlandish events stretch the bounds of believability, the story has plenty of verve, and the social satire is accurate if not especially profound. There’s nothing exceptional about this, but it nails what it sets out to do. Agent: Alexa Stark, Trident Media Group. (June)