A Happy Catastrophe
FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF 'MATCHMAKING FOR BEGINNERS' COMES A NOVEL ABOUT LOVE, LOSS, AND THE BEAUTIFUL MESS OF FAMILY.Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney have been in love for a few years now, enough to realize that they are imperfectly perfect together. Still, there are somethings that maybe need a little attention. Marnie's ebullient; he's brooding. She thrives on change; he prefers stability. She sees marriage and parenthood in their future, but he can't see beyond the shadow of an earlier tragedy.Then an eight-year-old surprise from Patrick's past shows up on their doorstep, cartwheeling into their lives and spinning things in all directions. While it's not exactly the change she envisioned, it looks like instant family to Marnie. But Patrick, afraid of being hurt again, retreats further into himself. Suddenly, two very different pieces of a beautiful puzzle fid it harder and harder to fit. How can Marnie trust in the magic of the universe when it seems to be doing its best to knock her off her feet?But some love stories are worth waiting for. And what's love without a little chaos anyway?KINDLE and PAPERBACK LENGTH ⇒ 381pagesAUDIBLE RUNNING TIME ⇒ 12hrs.©2020 Maddie Dawson (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

A Happy Catastrophe Details

TitleA Happy Catastrophe
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 26th, 2020
PublisherLake Union Publishing
ISBN-139781542006460
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary

A Happy Catastrophe Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    OMG! It’s always pleasure to read a sequel after enjoying a book so much and truly connect with its characters. So I felt like seeing an old friend as soon as I welcomed back Marnie and her powerful optimism and her ability to see the magic around everything in the world, bringing love and compassion to people’s lives. As a fan of Matchmaking for beginners, I was really curious about how Patrick and Marnie’s story will evolve because there was still some kind of unresolved issues about their rel OMG! It’s always pleasure to read a sequel after enjoying a book so much and truly connect with its characters. So I felt like seeing an old friend as soon as I welcomed back Marnie and her powerful optimism and her ability to see the magic around everything in the world, bringing love and compassion to people’s lives. As a fan of Matchmaking for beginners, I was really curious about how Patrick and Marnie’s story will evolve because there was still some kind of unresolved issues about their relationship including Patrick’s traumatic past, his inner and outer scars, their opposite characteristics. I was so worried at some point: Marnie’s positive, cheerful, entertaining way of approaching to the matters will not endure much and it may be affected by Patrick’s pessimistic, stable and non risk-taking, introverted life-style. On the second book: the problems start to occur about their relationship as I guessed. Marnie wants to have children and marriage as Patrick is so reluctant to be father, fighting with the demons of her past, guilt feelings, missing of her dead girlfriend. And then an eight years old, loud, ball of energy, hyper active little girl named Fritzie appear at their apartment door. Surprise: Patrick rejects to be a father but he already has a daughter from one night stand and he has to leave his safe place, getting rid of guilt feelings and taking some responsibilities for her child’s own good. But he really messed so big this time: His insecurities and his fear not to be good enough for Marnie and secret he keeps from her damages their relationship. As Marnie goes to Florida to take care of her sick father, Patrick stays alone with his child and finds out he can be a good father and enjoy the parenthood. So many things in this story were meaningful, emotional: living your past behind, learning from mistakes, opening your heart to love, parenthood, family bounding, magical power of sharing your compassion. The only part irritated me was Patrick’s stubbornness and rejection of happiness. I wanted to scream at him to get his head out of his ass and start groveling to make Marnie forgive her! But till the last parts: he acted so unfair and broke her heart. It was logical, he needed time to face his past demons and redemption and I enjoyed his bounding with his child but at some parts I feel sad for Marnie who was truly hurting because of his obnoxious behavior. So I’m cutting one star out and giving my 4 stars! This is a great feel-good fiction, romance, family drama and heart melting, poignant, lovable story! I have to emphasize I liked the sequel so much more than the first book. I’m looking forward to read upcoming books of the author.
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  • Camille Pagán
    January 1, 1970
    If you enjoyed Matchmaking for Beginners as much as I did, prepare to be spellbound by A Happy Catastrophe—in which Marnie and the people closest to her discover that magic isn’t getting what you want, but rather in loving what life surprises you with. Maddie Dawson is at the top of her game in this charming and unputdownable novel.
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  • Eleni Flores
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsI really enjoyed Matchmaking for Beginners when I read it a couple years ago - it was full of charm and lively characters and a really sweet, fun read. I was hoping for the same in the sequel, but I'm sad to say it did not live up to the first book. For the first 75% I was so annoyed at Patrick, who was regressing back to problems I thought had been resolved in the first book. I had so many issues with his character this time around that it was nearly impossible to ignore. But the WORST 2.5 starsI really enjoyed Matchmaking for Beginners when I read it a couple years ago - it was full of charm and lively characters and a really sweet, fun read. I was hoping for the same in the sequel, but I'm sad to say it did not live up to the first book. For the first 75% I was so annoyed at Patrick, who was regressing back to problems I thought had been resolved in the first book. I had so many issues with his character this time around that it was nearly impossible to ignore. But the WORST part was the how the first half or so of the book was Marnie and Patrick both completely disregarding the fact that they each wanted very different things in life, despite being the supposed "perfect couple" in all other regards. Marnie has decided to tell Patrick that she desperately wants to to have a baby, while Patrick feels he will be the world's worst parent and wants no part of child-rearing. They spend most of the book passive-aggressively trying to convince the other person why they're right, and it's just so infuriating because this is a major life decision that no one should be pressured into one way or another, especially by their partner.And there is a MAJOR plot hole that I could not get over through the entirety of the novel (without giving any spoilers, it has to do with the timing of 8 years, and I desperately want someone to talk to about how atrocious it is that it's never addressed). There are some great new characters introduced this time around (shout-out to adorable little Fritzie!), and the ending was slightly redeeming, but that's the best compliment I can give to this one. I still highly recommend Matchmaking for Beginners for anyone looking for a light but charming romance, but I can't say the same for the sequel. A Happy Catastrophe comes out May 26 if you decide to pick it up! Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my advanced review copy.
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  • Rachel McMillan
    January 1, 1970
    I ADORED Matchmaking for Beginners and made everyone read it. Dawson's voice is so warm and inviting that you feel like you're scraping a chair up to a lovingly worn table for a cup of tea and biscuits. I love it and the world and the characters so HOW DELIGHTED WAS I when I learned we got more from the Matchmaking world. Featuring one of the most resplendent openings I have read in an age and peeling back the curtain to the intersection of hope, loss and love, this has a lot of my go-to-favouri I ADORED Matchmaking for Beginners and made everyone read it. Dawson's voice is so warm and inviting that you feel like you're scraping a chair up to a lovingly worn table for a cup of tea and biscuits. I love it and the world and the characters so HOW DELIGHTED WAS I when I learned we got more from the Matchmaking world. Featuring one of the most resplendent openings I have read in an age and peeling back the curtain to the intersection of hope, loss and love, this has a lot of my go-to-favourite ingredients: a winsome and beguiling heroine who wrangles the narrative with magic and vulnerability, a sweet hero and a tapestry of colourful characters, the forging of family and wistful romance and a very strong sense of place and setting. I am delighted that this offering just happened to find its way to me as the world was shifting because it is an imaginative balm.
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  • Kerry Anne King
    January 1, 1970
    A triumphant tale about the redemptive magic of love—and the way life sometimes drags us through the muck before giving us what we never knew we wanted. Marnie is one of the most delightful heroines in contemporary fiction and you won’t want to miss her! Moment of truth. When I saw that Dawson had written a follow up book to Matchmaking for Beginners, I was skeptical. How can you follow up a perfect book? Where is there to go? But if anything, this book is stronger than the first and I think I m A triumphant tale about the redemptive magic of love—and the way life sometimes drags us through the muck before giving us what we never knew we wanted. Marnie is one of the most delightful heroines in contemporary fiction and you won’t want to miss her! Moment of truth. When I saw that Dawson had written a follow up book to Matchmaking for Beginners, I was skeptical. How can you follow up a perfect book? Where is there to go? But if anything, this book is stronger than the first and I think I might, by a hair, love it more.That said, you don't need to read Matchmaking first to love this book--but you should totally read them both.
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  • S.J. Lomas
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the writing in this book, but not the story. I loved Matchmaking for Beginners and thought it was a very special book. I was really looking forward to how Marnie and Patrick would progress in their relationship. Unfortunately, I stopped liking Marnie very early on in this book. She tells Patrick she “needs” to have a baby with him as soon as possible. She needs a baby to be happy. He tells her in no uncertain terms that he can’t handle fatherhood. He just can’t do it. We know that Patric I loved the writing in this book, but not the story. I loved Matchmaking for Beginners and thought it was a very special book. I was really looking forward to how Marnie and Patrick would progress in their relationship. Unfortunately, I stopped liking Marnie very early on in this book. She tells Patrick she “needs” to have a baby with him as soon as possible. She needs a baby to be happy. He tells her in no uncertain terms that he can’t handle fatherhood. He just can’t do it. We know that Patrick has been through a tragedy that literally left him disfigured and killed a woman he loved. He has deep emotional and physical baggage. When he says he can’t handle fatherhood, that seems like a serious issue to talk through. Instead of soul searching and having deep conversation on the topic, just a day after that conversation, she’s texting him all day long about how many babies she’s seeing and how much she just loves them. It made it feel like a game she was playing. That was my first turn off with Marnie. Next, there’s the shock of a lifetime when Tessa and her 8 year old daughter, Fritzie, show up on Patrick and Marnie’s doorstep. Surprise! Fritzie is the product of a two night stand Patrick and Tessa had. Marnie isn’t even a little troubled that her boyfriend has a secret child. She welcomes the overly-boisterous child with wide-open arms. And then Patrick begins to withdraw into seriously black depression. He’s preparing for a comeback art exhibition, only the art is a bleak exploration of the fire he survived and his guilt and pain over his former girlfriend’s death in that fire. He’s consumed by complete, dangerous darkness. He hallucinates that the dead girlfriend is screaming in his head all the time and she’s talking to him, demanding 100% of his attention. He doesn’t tell Marnie about it, but she kind of notices that he’s completely withdrawing from life. But she doesn’t spend any time thinking about him. She’s got Fritzie to mother and wayward teens who hang out at her florist shop. Next, she promises this husk of Patrick that she won’t go crazy with Thanksgiving this year. She’ll keep it quiet, for his sake, with just the three of them. He thanks her for that because, as we’ve seen, he’s deeply depressed and can’t face being around people. But, of course, by the next page, oops, Marnie allows a bunch of strangers to come for Thanksgiving. It’s ok though, because those people needed a place to be and Patrick can just deal with it. In his own home. While he’s battling a severe mental breakdown. At that point, I didn’t want Marnie and Patrick to be together anymore. Her character is meant to be Blix reborn, caring and loving every broken soul visible, but when Patrick really needed some intervention, Marnie preferred to ignore it, waiting for Patrick to snap out of it on his own and, above all, to realize how much they loved each other, because that should fix him. I couldn’t buy into that. I also couldn’t buy into the position that it was all Patrick’s fault. He needed help. Real help. Like therapy and possibly medication. At the risk of sounding like a grinch, I wasn’t won over by Fritzie either. I didn’t like the name, which didn’t help, but she came off as loud and annoying rather than the plucky survivor she was supposed to be. That child needed therapy too. Abandoned by the only parent she’d known to live with two strangers? And her only way of “acting out” was to steal money to give to a homeless child in her classroom? Brassy orphan with a heart of gold. I was initially willing to suspend my disbelief with the whole Fritzie situation, but with the further problem of Patrick’s mental breakdown, (and a few other people’s problems along the way) I just couldn’t love this story or its characters...even though the actual writing is excellent.
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  • Cortney Walton
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for my copy.I absolutely loved this book! I was so excited to see there was a sequel on Netgalley. I loved Matchmaking for Beginners. It was a book I found with Amazon First Reads. I loved it so much I bought an actual copy of it when it was released. I’ll be doing the same with this one as well.This book continues Marnie and Patrick’s story. Marnie is ready to get married and have babies while Patrick is still living in his dark past.Their p ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for my copy.I absolutely loved this book! I was so excited to see there was a sequel on Netgalley. I loved Matchmaking for Beginners. It was a book I found with Amazon First Reads. I loved it so much I bought an actual copy of it when it was released. I’ll be doing the same with this one as well.This book continues Marnie and Patrick’s story. Marnie is ready to get married and have babies while Patrick is still living in his dark past.Their problems begin to get worse when a woman shows up with Patrick’s daughter who is a product of a one night stand. Patrick did not know he had a daughter which brings more intense insecurities. He becomes afraid he isn’t enough for Marnie while Marnie believes in him with her whole heart.This book is so realistic. I felt for both Marnie and Patrick as they try to work through so many issues. The ending was just perfect. It was so wonderful being back in their world. I may need another book of their story. ☺️
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  • Nursebookie
    January 1, 1970
    I love a quirky and heart warming story about how families take shape. This one landed on took Marnie and Patrick for one heck of a surprise. Nothing is perfect no matter the countless hours of planning or dreaming of the perfect and ideal family. I found myself once again connected and journeyed with the characters throughout the story. This was truly an enjoyable read that was truly endearing and quite satisfying. I recommend this for a magical read full of hope and love.
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  • Caroline Kerdouci
    January 1, 1970
    If you feel like you’re missing some sparkle, joie de vivre and a little bit of craziness in your life then I recommend you drop into Marnie’s world. Owner of Best Buds florist shop in Brooklyn, Marnie is a witchy matchmaker who see sparkles above people wherever she goes, believes in the magic power of the universe and occasionally uses spells to fulfill her dreams. Oh, and don’t forget her toaster which is inhabited by the spirit of Blix (the woman responsible for bringing Marnie and Patrick t If you feel like you’re missing some sparkle, joie de vivre and a little bit of craziness in your life then I recommend you drop into Marnie’s world. Owner of Best Buds florist shop in Brooklyn, Marnie is a witchy matchmaker who see sparkles above people wherever she goes, believes in the magic power of the universe and occasionally uses spells to fulfill her dreams. Oh, and don’t forget her toaster which is inhabited by the spirit of Blix (the woman responsible for bringing Marnie and Patrick together) and offers inspiration and words of wisdom at every given opportunity. This sounds like the most bizzare scenario for a romantic tale but despite initial reservations it’s impossible not to get swept away in all the madness and I absolutely loved it. Marnie is the most spontaneous, irrepressible, positive and eccentric character you could imagine with a hopelessly romantic heart. With some initial eye rolling at her ridiculously naive nature I felt like I’d been plucked from a black and white world into an alternative technicolour universe, with no idea of the rules but happy to see where the ride would take me. Welcome to Planet Marnie!! Living with long term partner Patrick she spreads joy wherever she goes, happy to surround herself with the lovely customers who frequent The Frippery which adjoins her shop and acts as a haven for all those seeking a bit of Marnie magic. But there is one thing missing. A baby. At thirty something Marnie is feeling the burning desire to procreate but can she convince Patrick to commit to such a life changing decision when he is resolute in his belief that fatherhood is not for him??After the first few pages I thought Marnie was going to be this annoying, irritating,far fetched character living in la la land but her love for life is infectious. In her eyes there’s nothing that can’t be sorted with a bit of sparkle, a wave of an imaginary fairy wand and a side helping of inspiration from toaster Blix. Except perhaps a baby. What first appears to be an extremely lighthearted frivolous storyline turns into a charming, emotionally charged novel when the planets align, Mercury is in retrograde and eight year old Fritzie enters their lives. Unbeknownst to Patrick, he is her bio-daddy and Tessa, Fritzie’s mum is looking to dump her child with an almost stranger so she can pursue her own love interest in Italy.What follows is a rollercoaster of events with Fritzie at the helm, complimenting Marnie’s personality with her endless bouncing energy asking a million questions per minute!! Poor Marnie and Patrick don’t stand a chance in the face of this intelligent bundle of fun who turns their lives inside out and upside down. As a character, Fritzie is the icing on the cake for me, the cherry on top that makes this novel so appealing and enjoyable. I wanted to wrap my arms around this little girl, smother her with love and never let her go. Her innocence and curiosity and straight talking made my heart melt as well as make me chuckle!!It is Patrick who provides a hefty dose of realism to counteract all the frothiness and is a complex character suffering from survivors guilt. The appearance of Fritzie in his life disrupts the status quo and unable to deal with his feelings, Patrick gradually retreats back to his own planet which is light years away from Marnie’s. Is this the end of their love story or can the spark be reignited? I liked the contrast between these two lovers, with such differing outlooks but confirming that opposites do attract. This is a love story full of quirky characters, humour, sadness, loss and hope and of course love.A Happy Catastrophe is an utterly,utterly charming novel that took me by surprise with the depth of emotions it aroused in me. As I’ve already said it’s an emotionally charged novel that I think would translate well to the big screen. A delightful escapist read that will bewitch any incurable romantic. My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read.
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  • dani
    January 1, 1970
    this book summoned a split personality in me. it was devastating at how heartwarming the love the characters held, but one of the main characters spent 90% of the story in a regressed matter, which i did NOT enjoy in the slightest. i loved it yet hated it at some points.we have patrick, who, from the first moment he's introduced brings a gloomy vibe. he's been through A LOT; i am well aware, however, he cannot seem to move on from the past. moreover, we have marnie, his partner. she's a bubble o this book summoned a split personality in me. it was devastating at how heartwarming the love the characters held, but one of the main characters spent 90% of the story in a regressed matter, which i did NOT enjoy in the slightest. i loved it yet hated it at some points.we have patrick, who, from the first moment he's introduced brings a gloomy vibe. he's been through A LOT; i am well aware, however, he cannot seem to move on from the past. moreover, we have marnie, his partner. she's a bubble of happiness; the opposite of what he is. she enjoys matchmaking and owns a flower shop; she's the most adorable character i've EVER read. in particular, marnie wants children but patrick doesn't... suddenly, one day; a one-night stand patrick had eight years ago brought along a little girl, and her mother leaves her with them...fritzie is the sun itself, she's loud, opinionated and intense. she made this book a thousand times better. as you can tell, patrick comes to learn he does want a family and he especially wants it with marnie YET what i despised was that he realized 15 pages before the book ended?? i mean??!?? MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!overall, it was such an adorable read focused on love, family and friendships; a 3.5 for me!*thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for my copy*
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  • Caitlin Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I was a big fan of Matchmaking for Beginners and was really excited to receive this ARC. A Happy Catastrophe allows readers to see what happens “after they get together.” Patrick and Marnie were really relatable and fun characters to read about. While there was less magic in this story than MfB, there was still a touch added to remind you to believe. This book had so many laugh out loud funny moments and also moments where I had to grab my tissue box. Fritzie was hilarious and lovable. I absolut I was a big fan of Matchmaking for Beginners and was really excited to receive this ARC. A Happy Catastrophe allows readers to see what happens “after they get together.” Patrick and Marnie were really relatable and fun characters to read about. While there was less magic in this story than MfB, there was still a touch added to remind you to believe. This book had so many laugh out loud funny moments and also moments where I had to grab my tissue box. Fritzie was hilarious and lovable. I absolutely loved her relationship with Marnie. Patrick is struggling with very real mental health issues that I thought were depicted very honestly. Everything in this book felt thoroughly real. Marnie and Fritzie were both such a light for Patrick with unwavering optimism. I was so happy Patrick and Marnie were able to work through their issues and I absolutely loved the ending. Now we just need another installment!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Laura Rae
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy of this book! It was so good to become reacquainted with Patrick and Marnie and see what magic and catastrophes would happen! I really enjoyed it!
  • Lala
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed Match Making for Beginners and was looking forward to the sequel. This book was not the happily ever after that I was hoping for. This book implies that Marnie and Patrick had four great years and then plops us where the trouble begins. I had a really hard time reading about how Patrick pushed everyone away again, and how Marnie was too distracted to stop it. I feel like he treated her and Fritzie very badly, and I wanted someone to go in and shake some sense into him before he wasted I enjoyed Match Making for Beginners and was looking forward to the sequel. This book was not the happily ever after that I was hoping for. This book implies that Marnie and Patrick had four great years and then plops us where the trouble begins. I had a really hard time reading about how Patrick pushed everyone away again, and how Marnie was too distracted to stop it. I feel like he treated her and Fritzie very badly, and I wanted someone to go in and shake some sense into him before he wasted so much time. I do appreciate the character arc and Fritzie's explanation of how he had to paint out the bad to let in the good, but this story was too messy for me. Things got too low and I feel like they too quickly were put back together. I did have a happy ending, but I was too annoyed with the characters at the end to celebrate with him.
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  • Jocelyne
    January 1, 1970
    I was so happy that Marnie’s story was not over when I saw this book pop up on my radar! I loved Matchmaking for Beginners and although I thought it was better than the sequel, I still really enjoyed A Happy Catastrophe. It was just as quirky and full of drama! I definitely recommend picking it up if you enjoyed Matchmaking for Beginners!Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from netgalley in exchange for review.For a book titled "A Happy Catastrophe," this one got...surprisingly dark. 3.5 stars, debated whether to round up or down, but ended up rounding to 4 because I liked that it took an intentional turn from the themes and the mood of "Matchmaking for Beginners." Many of the same characters, of course, but getting into new situations this time. The contrasting tones of whimsical and dark made it read somewhat uneven at times. The characters sometime ARC received from netgalley in exchange for review.For a book titled "A Happy Catastrophe," this one got...surprisingly dark. 3.5 stars, debated whether to round up or down, but ended up rounding to 4 because I liked that it took an intentional turn from the themes and the mood of "Matchmaking for Beginners." Many of the same characters, of course, but getting into new situations this time. The contrasting tones of whimsical and dark made it read somewhat uneven at times. The characters sometimes had flippant ways of addressing very serious conflicts, and the other characters would treat that as normal response, which was a bit concerning. If you were a fan of Patrick in the first book, prepare to strongly dislike (if not hate) him in this one. I get that he has a journey to go through, but man! He was the worst. So much so that, without getting into any spoilers, I had a hard time accepting some of the growth he goes through.Overall, I enjoyed spending more time in the world created in "Matchmaking for Beginners" and appreciated the departure from the themes of the first book. While ultimately with both of the books it's about believing in the magic of the universe and loving where you are, that doesn't mean people are immune to rough times and heartbreak, and I appreciated the acknowledgement and balance of that. It was a good read.
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  • Shae
    January 1, 1970
    Publishers Synopsis:From the bestselling author of Matchmaking for Beginners comes a novel about love, loss, and the beautiful mess of family.Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney have been in love for a few years now, enough to realize that they are imperfectly perfect together. Still, there are some things that maybe need a little attention. Marnie’s ebullient; he’s brooding. She thrives on change; he prefers stability. She sees marriage and parenthood in their future, but he can’t see beyond the Publishers Synopsis:From the bestselling author of Matchmaking for Beginners comes a novel about love, loss, and the beautiful mess of family.Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney have been in love for a few years now, enough to realize that they are imperfectly perfect together. Still, there are some things that maybe need a little attention. Marnie’s ebullient; he’s brooding. She thrives on change; he prefers stability. She sees marriage and parenthood in their future, but he can’t see beyond the shadow of an earlier tragedy. Then an eight-year-old surprise from Patrick’s past shows up on their doorstep, cartwheeling into their lives and spinning things in all directions. While it’s not exactly the change she envisioned, it looks like instant family to Marnie. But Patrick, afraid of being hurt again, retreats further into himself. Suddenly, two very different pieces of a beautiful puzzle find it harder and harder to fit. How can Marnie trust in the magic of the universe when it seems to be doing its best to knock her off her feet? But some love stories are worth waiting for. And what’s love without a little chaos anyway?Review: This is now my favourite book of all time. Let me say it again. This is now (and I cannot stress this enough) my favourite book of all time. I’ve never had a favourite author before, but if that is what this little warm feeling in my heart is then I’ll take it, and a copy of ALL of Maddie Dawson’s books. Full disclosure (because I pride myself with how honest I am with these reviews) this book was in a huge pile (HUGE!) of netgalley arcs that needed to be read. Even with the publication date approaching, I was nowhere near reading this book. Then I received an email from the publisher (assumingly as did other owners of the arc) and it triggered something in me to bring this book to the top (I now know that was Blix working her magic on me).From the first chapter I was swept up into the lives of Marnie and Patrick. I genuinely and honestly couldn’t put the book down. I made a note one day during a rare moment that I wasn’t reading this book and it says, verbatim, that I genuinely missed the characters in the book. I wasn’t even half way through yet! The cart-wheeling eight year old that comes out of nowhere and into their lives is an accurate depiction of my character as a child. I am, in all regards, the living adult version of Fritzey. Unfortunately, my quirks, mannerisms and constant chatter was suppressed, by all means, by my mother. So it was incredibly refreshing to read about how every adult in this little girls life just took her as she was and let her be. I think that might be for the most part why for me this book is such a winner. I don’t believe in crystal, or holistic healing or moon phases, or burning sage or mercury in retrograde or any of that. None of it. I don’t even belong to a religion (although I respect all religions and people that come from them) but I do like magic. So the touch of magic in this book, combined with Fritzeys energizer bunny personality, and the love story that is Marnie and Patrick just has this book ticking all of my boxes.Initially, i was worried that I hadn’t read Dawson’s previous book “match making for beginners” and was worried this would affect my ability to love this book. Hey, it didn’t and now I want no less than seven copies of both. I could talk forever about how good this book is- one night I even skipped a meal in order to read more!- but I think you get the point. I’ve read a lot of books the last few months. No less than 20 papers and 20 arc’s. But this one beats them all. I want to carry it around with me wherever I go. I am now Maddie Dawson’s biggest fan and the #1 promoter for this novel.My sincerest thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for my review.5/5 stars
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    I love when I read a book and I feel as if I am catching up with some old friends. We loved Marnie and Patrick when we first met them in Matchmaking for Beginners. It has been a while now and they have settled into their life together, happily it seems, and then Marnie broaches having a baby. Patrick has so many demons he still has to deal with and this one throws him for a loop. We also get thrown for a huge loop when a little girl named Fritzie shows up. She is Patrick's daughter from a couple I love when I read a book and I feel as if I am catching up with some old friends. We loved Marnie and Patrick when we first met them in Matchmaking for Beginners. It has been a while now and they have settled into their life together, happily it seems, and then Marnie broaches having a baby. Patrick has so many demons he still has to deal with and this one throws him for a loop. We also get thrown for a huge loop when a little girl named Fritzie shows up. She is Patrick's daughter from a couple day fling. He had no idea she even existed. Fritzie is left with them for a few months (sure) and that plus all the people who flock around the marvelous Marnie, makes things too much for Patrick. As he retreats, Marnie wonders if this isn't the life she is supposed to lead. I wanted to throttle Patrick a few times. (Okay, a lot of times) But I do know that he was in a very deep depression and we hope against hope that he will see out of the dark and back into the Marnie light. Marnie is such a wonderful character, full of life, hope, zest, faith. I want some of her sparkle. Who wouldn't gravitate around her? Fritzie is precocious and the perfect match for Marnie. Every character brings more joy into the story. My heart was lighter at the end and I really think it was something I needed in such strange, dark times. You cannot go wrong with anything that Maddie Dawson writes but do yourself a favor and read this little duo. You will thank me later.Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union for this little piece of joy.
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  • Jessica Jones
    January 1, 1970
    A sequel to Matchmaking for Beginners, A Happy Catastrophe revisits the lives of Marnie and Patrick now they are a couple, which is great because I liked both characters in the first book and felt there story needed to be continued. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣I did enjoy this book however, it seemed alot darker than the first. Patrick's mental struggle with a tragic accident in his past is quite dominant in the story and I think its handled very well by the author.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣I felt that the switching between the characte A sequel to Matchmaking for Beginners, A Happy Catastrophe revisits the lives of Marnie and Patrick now they are a couple, which is great because I liked both characters in the first book and felt there story needed to be continued. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣I did enjoy this book however, it seemed alot darker than the first. Patrick's mental struggle with a tragic accident in his past is quite dominant in the story and I think its handled very well by the author.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣I felt that the switching between the characters wasnt as clear as in the first book and I started to get confused as to whose point of view I was reading. There also seemed to be lots of little sub plots that didnt help.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣Fritzie was a great addition to the book although slightly annoying. Her relationship with Patrick has some lovely heartwarming parts, which hit me right in the feels. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣All in all I enjoyed A Happy Catastrophe even though it wasnt as light hearted as I expected. The characters emotions were all very realistic and written well but I was sometimes left confused by subplots and POV changes.⁣⁣⁣⭐⭐⭐.5 stars⁣⁣⁣
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  • Emily Jean
    January 1, 1970
    A Happy Catastrophe is the follow up to Matchmaking for Beginners and while you don’t HAVE to read the first book, I would recommend it. Marnie and Patrick are complete opposites and happily in love. Marnie has a bit of magical matchmaking ability and owns a flower shop full of interesting characters talking about love and the universe. Patrick is an introverted artist and survivor of a horrific fire years ago that killed his girlfriend. He has many physical and emotional wounds. When a little g A Happy Catastrophe is the follow up to Matchmaking for Beginners and while you don’t HAVE to read the first book, I would recommend it. Marnie and Patrick are complete opposites and happily in love. Marnie has a bit of magical matchmaking ability and owns a flower shop full of interesting characters talking about love and the universe. Patrick is an introverted artist and survivor of a horrific fire years ago that killed his girlfriend. He has many physical and emotional wounds. When a little girl shows up in their lives it will change everything. Sometimes there are books that you really enjoy, but wouldn’t recommend them to every reader and this is kind of one of those books. It is magical and fantastical and maybe not believable for the serious person. But, I personally just loved this quirky story! Patrick is the sweetest and you just want so much happiness for him. Marnie is full of love and light and you wish you could be her BFF. Little Fritzie was so funny and energetic despite really tough circumstances. I definitely recommend this one if you have an open mind about all the magic waiting for us in the universe!!
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  • Melanie Sligh
    January 1, 1970
    A Happy Catastrophe, a whimsical adventure. We follow Marnie, Patrick, Blix (now in the form of a toaster) along their journey of raising an 8 year old that just showed up on their doorstep. Marnie is a matchmaker. As her mother says, she’s got the “magic”. She gets sparkles when she sees people that should be together. She lives with Patrick, her boyfriend. A burn victim that saw life again once he met Blix, and then met Marnie. This was a fun read. I enjoyed Marnie’s optimism and passion for l A Happy Catastrophe, a whimsical adventure. We follow Marnie, Patrick, Blix (now in the form of a toaster) along their journey of raising an 8 year old that just showed up on their doorstep. Marnie is a matchmaker. As her mother says, she’s got the “magic”. She gets sparkles when she sees people that should be together. She lives with Patrick, her boyfriend. A burn victim that saw life again once he met Blix, and then met Marnie. This was a fun read. I enjoyed Marnie’s optimism and passion for life. About halfway through the book, I was annoyed with Patrick and his antics. Everyone deals with grief differently, but I just couldn’t grasp the total 180 he made. Tessa was absolutely horrendous. She was narcissistic and callous. I’m glad Marnie was able to be in Fritzie’s life.Fritzie was the absolute star in this show. Her comments, (kids really do say the darndest things!) her questioning, and of course her defiance made her such a great character. I hope to see her more if the author chooses to make another book after this.Overall, I give this 3.5 stars. It was short, sweet, happy ending wrapped in a bow. It did get a bit murky in the middle where I found myself lacking attention. I was able to be roped back in by her mother or by Fritzie.I would like to add there may be some TW/CW: for grief, loss of a loved one, or burn victims. Thank you NetGalley & Lake Union for a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review! A Happy Catastrophe comes out May 26th!
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  • Clare Marshall
    January 1, 1970
    Oh I just loved this so much. I loved being back in the world of Marnie, Patrick, and their motley crew of people. This book had so much heart and also made me laugh so much. The characters were deeper in this sequel than in the first book and I loved that. Fritzie was such a delight as well. I loved the life lessons in the book - the reminders that choosing to be open to love in all forms makes life so much better and that life might be different than how you want but dance in it anyway :)This Oh I just loved this so much. I loved being back in the world of Marnie, Patrick, and their motley crew of people. This book had so much heart and also made me laugh so much. The characters were deeper in this sequel than in the first book and I loved that. Fritzie was such a delight as well. I loved the life lessons in the book - the reminders that choosing to be open to love in all forms makes life so much better and that life might be different than how you want but dance in it anyway :)This book made my heart ache with happiness. Thank you netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. I thought Matchmaking for Beginners was good. It was a fun, slightly quirky love story and when I saw a sequel for it I was excited! Unfortunately,the beginning of the book and how baby crazy Marnie was in the first few chapters started this book off with a bad taste especially when Patrick let's her know that he can't handle being a father. I didn't like what the characters I liked in the first Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. I thought Matchmaking for Beginners was good. It was a fun, slightly quirky love story and when I saw a sequel for it I was excited! Unfortunately,the beginning of the book and how baby crazy Marnie was in the first few chapters started this book off with a bad taste especially when Patrick let's her know that he can't handle being a father. I didn't like what the characters I liked in the first book became in this one. The writing is excellent, but it wasn't able to overcome the story for me.
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  • thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this, but I found Patrick to be very hard work to relate to or to find likeable, he drags the story down and I understand his past, but maybe just with the things going on I just needed something lighter and not as depressing in a character. Then at the very end he changes and it just seemed inconsistent although with relationships probably realistic. It was a good read on the whole but Patrick made it harder for me.Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest op I enjoyed this, but I found Patrick to be very hard work to relate to or to find likeable, he drags the story down and I understand his past, but maybe just with the things going on I just needed something lighter and not as depressing in a character. Then at the very end he changes and it just seemed inconsistent although with relationships probably realistic. It was a good read on the whole but Patrick made it harder for me.Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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  • Kelly Goree
    January 1, 1970
    Oh this sweet Rom-Com hit me in ALL THE FEELS!! I absolutely love the character of Marnie - her personality, her outlook on the world, the way she loves completely and with her whole heart. She truly inspires me! I want to be more like her, I want to meet more people like her and I want to read more about her! Marnie is a flower shop owner and matchmaker who literally sees "sparkles" around people who are meant to be together. And she makes it her mission to make that happen no matter the situat Oh this sweet Rom-Com hit me in ALL THE FEELS!! I absolutely love the character of Marnie - her personality, her outlook on the world, the way she loves completely and with her whole heart. She truly inspires me! I want to be more like her, I want to meet more people like her and I want to read more about her! Marnie is a flower shop owner and matchmaker who literally sees "sparkles" around people who are meant to be together. And she makes it her mission to make that happen no matter the situation. The flower shop is just a side gig for all the love she is trying to spread. Her live-in boyfriend Patrick is a similar amazing human, but with a much darker past that is constantly threatening his happiness and his life with Marnie. Add in the arrival of Patrick's previously unknown 8-year-old daughter, Marnie's mother and a smattering of other unique folks and you have a delightful story of redeeming love on many facets!Thank you to Maddie Dawson and her publisher, Lake Union, as well as Netgalley for the ARC of this wonderful book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Kurt
    January 1, 1970
    A Wonderful Sequel!As soon as I began reading this book, I felt it’s magic! It’s a rare thing but sometimes it happens with movies and sometimes with books. This is one of them!Without getting too specific, the novel contains brilliant highs, depressing lows, and everything in between. And throughout it all is woven the magic of love. One of my favorite books I’ve read in a while!
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  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    Solid Combination of Zany and Drama. I think the title says it all here. This is one of those books with enough off-the-wall WTF moments to make it truly fun, but also quite a bit of pulling your heartstrings. Few characters here come out looking spotless, but all look very, very human. Excellent story, very well told. Very much recommended.
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  • Karen Trosterud
    January 1, 1970
    I feel in love with these characters right from the beginning!! A beautifully written story filled with wonderful people!! love love love it! Highly highly recommend
  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    There’s a lot to like about this book, and in fact for the first three quarters or so, it was more of a four-star read for me. The characters are really well-developed and complex and messy and real, and the relationships are very carefully and meaningfully developed and fleshed out, with the exception of Tessa (more on that in a moment). As a result, it all felt very relatable. The book was heavier than I was expecting, but not in a bad way - it tackled people’s problems and inner demons in a r There’s a lot to like about this book, and in fact for the first three quarters or so, it was more of a four-star read for me. The characters are really well-developed and complex and messy and real, and the relationships are very carefully and meaningfully developed and fleshed out, with the exception of Tessa (more on that in a moment). As a result, it all felt very relatable. The book was heavier than I was expecting, but not in a bad way - it tackled people’s problems and inner demons in a real way. The final quarter of the book was what knocked it down to three stars for me. It was just too convenient and out of whack with how deeply built the characters are. I saw the outcome of the Janelle plot line coming from a mile away, for one thing. For another, I was very frustrated at how the major trauma/PTSD was treated toward the end. There wasn’t even a therapist involved. And I just could not understand Tessa. It never made sense to me now she could just have a total about-face about her own child and then basically never look back. It just didn’t fit, and I found myself getting annoyed and frustrated with how nearly everything tied up at the end. It felt incongruous with the depth and messy complexity of the characters and relationships to that point, and reduced my enjoyment of the book. Thanks to Lake Union and NetGalley for the ARC.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    more like 3.5, wiffle waffled with rounding up and down, eventually settled on 3.there were a few things i didn't like about the first book and i didn't think i would be interested in the sequel.. but then i saw it on netgalley and couldn't help myself. it started off very similar and i didn't think i would like it - all the auras and sparkles and stuff. but it turned real quick and though some parts were super hard to read, i think i actually enjoyed it better than the first. the parts that wer more like 3.5, wiffle waffled with rounding up and down, eventually settled on 3.there were a few things i didn't like about the first book and i didn't think i would be interested in the sequel.. but then i saw it on netgalley and couldn't help myself. it started off very similar and i didn't think i would like it - all the auras and sparkles and stuff. but it turned real quick and though some parts were super hard to read, i think i actually enjoyed it better than the first. the parts that were hard to read for me were all about marnie wanting a baby. i knew the synopsis mentioned parenthood but if i'd known it would be so focused on pregnancy/babies, i would not have picked it up. that's purely me though. i am glad - spoiler alert - that she didn't magically fall pregnant the first time, or at all. people in books have a tendency to do that and even though i love a HEA as much as the next girl, the magically falling pregnant makes me twitchy. though, they did magically have a teenager willing to give her baby to them, so, whatever. outside of just not enjoying reading about women wanting babies, i had a hard time with marnie being so pushy and insistent with patrick. she went from 0 to 100 with the baby thing, like i get it girl, but... slow down.then, when it wasn't talking about wanting a baby and her being 33 and so old (lol i'm going to die alone), it was talking about other super heavy stuff and that wasn't exactly pleasant to read, but for different reasons. man, patrick was hard to like in this one! and marnie being so understanding, goodness, i wanted her to slap him. or i wanted her to do something, do anything except ignore it and hope he'd get himself out of his funk.i get what patrick went through and what he had to go through to fully heal, but i wish he'd come to his realisations a bit quicker than, like, the last chapter, but whatever. i feel like things got fixed and patched up in the end very quickly and easily, and that didn't really jive with the rest of the book. it went super low and super tough and then basically fixed itself... i would have preferred a little bit more work going into their growth - both separate and in their relationship - vs it happening for patrick when marnie was out of town.also, wtf was up with tessa? for real. i did like fritzie most of the time, but some of the time she gave me a headache.ARC received from netgalley in exchange for review
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  • Mary Lou
    January 1, 1970
    Maddie Dawson has written another wonderful book that will touch your heart and have you rushing back to your chair to finish the story. A sequel to her best-selling Matchmaking For Beginners, Dawson picks up where we left off with Marnie and Patrick living a content life in the city. But when a surprise from the past materializes, Patrick's quiet existence is turned upside down while Marnie discovers how deep her capacity for love can be even when life throws a curveball or two. With a cast of Maddie Dawson has written another wonderful book that will touch your heart and have you rushing back to your chair to finish the story. A sequel to her best-selling Matchmaking For Beginners, Dawson picks up where we left off with Marnie and Patrick living a content life in the city. But when a surprise from the past materializes, Patrick's quiet existence is turned upside down while Marnie discovers how deep her capacity for love can be even when life throws a curveball or two. With a cast of delightful new characters, you will be swept away in this happily ever after tale where the magic of love conquers everything.
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