The Happy Accidents

Photo of Jamie Beck's The Happy Accidents paperback ARC copy

The Happy Accidents by Jamie Beck

Publisher: Montlake
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Book Review

Mourning her recent divorce Jess Clarke decides to celebrate her birthday at a casino with her best friend, Chloe, and sister, Liz. While there, she asks the other two women to make a pact to say yes to adventure that night. When they awake the next morning, each woman finds her life turned upside down from decisions the night before. Over the next few months, each of the women must come to terms with the consequences of their decisions and new and unexpected ways their lives change.

Told in alternating first-person perspectives, The Happy Accidents follows Jess, Chloe, and Liz as they each attempt to put their lives back together and make the best choices for their future. The story focuses on the choices women make and how it impacts their relationships and overall happiness. 

Liz’s career is in shambles when she is drunkenly caught on camera trashing her cohost on the show, The Morning Dish. When the show fires her she is forced to look critically at her career and her life overall and figure out her next steps. I liked Liz, but she also annoyed me. I found her a bit cold, especially when it came to her sister.

In contrast, Jess, Liz’s sister was my favorite character. I enjoyed her perspective and storyline the most. Her journey towards finding happiness after her divorce intrigued me. I also loved her warm personality and genuine quest to live life to the fullest.

My least favorite storyline was Chloe. I liked Chloe as a character, but her situation frustrated me. After losing $5000 at the casino, Liz’s husband punishes her by canceling their anniversary trip. Determined to find a financial solution, as well as a sense of purpose in her life, Chloe decides to train as a doula. Her husband is less than receptive even though she only plans to work part-time. Every exchange between Chloe and her husband made me so angry. I liked Chloe as a character, and I love how she approached the changes in her life, but I hated her sections.

I liked how The Happy Accidents framed the stories around choices each of the women made and how they deeply impacted their lives going forward. Overall, I liked the story. It had such a positive message and had a lot to say about empathy and self-discovery. I recommend The Happy Accidents to fans of women’s fiction.

Thank you to BookSparks, Montlake, Netgalley, and Jamie Beck for the review copy! All opinions are my own. 

Synopsis from Goodreads

Three women wake up to the consequences of one impulsive pact in an insightful novel about friendship, love, and fulfillment by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie Beck.

While at a casino to celebrate her birthday, Jessie Clarke proposes a pact to her reserved sister, Liz, and their childhood friend Chloe: the three women will say yes to any adventure that comes their way. Jessie is mourning her recent divorce, so the other two reluctantly agree. Twelve hours later, they awaken to the shocking consequences of their behavior.

A viral video throws Liz’s career and reputation into question. A major loss at the craps table rocks the foundation of Chloe’s staid marriage. And Jessie’s desperate bid to unblock her artistic creativity results in a life-changing choice. Staring down the crossroads, each woman finds her relationships—with herself, with each other, and with loves both old and new—tested. At every turn, they struggle not to let fear decide their fates. Will they give in, or will their misadventures lead to the greatest fulfillment of all?

About the Author

Headshot of author Jamie Beck

Wall Street Journal and USA Today
Bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic
and heartwarming stories have sold more
than three million copies. She is a two-time
Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, a National
Readers’ Choice Award winner, and critics
at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist
have respectively called her work “smart,”
“uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to
writing novels, she enjoys dancing around
the kitchen while cooking and hitting the
slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is
a grateful wife and mother to a very patient,
supportive family.

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