Happy Hour

Cover Image: Happy Hour

Elizabeth Strout meets Marian Keyes in this wonderful, joyful, funny debut novel from Australian author Jacquie Byron.

Featured in Better Reading Top 100 and Together We Read

‘This is really good fun’ - Jane Harper

‘This is a bristling, fearless, funny look at loss’ - Australian Women’s Weekly

‘A poignant, uplifting tale’ - The Age/SMH 

‘Effortlessly readable’ - The Weekend Australian

Gin in one hand, paintbrush in the other, Franny Calderwood has turned her back on the world. Having lost her husband, Frank, she lives a life of decadent seclusion with her two dogs, Whisky and Soda, and a stuffed cat.

Then the Salernos move in next door - a charming trio: newly-single mother Sallyanne, moody teenager Dee and eccentric eight-year-old Josh - and Franny finds herself drawn into the chaos of their lives in eccentric, hilarious and sometimes misguided ways. These friendships bring her to life, artistic Josh reminding her of her of the beauty of life, and passionate Dee re-inspiring the enjoyment of glamour and excitement that Franny used to share with Frank.

But, when an accident forces Franny to confront the pain beneath her wisecracks and culinary experiments, she comes to realise that the loss of Frank does not have to mean she also needs to lose herself.

A powerful story about one woman, two dogs and the family next door, Happy Hour is a hilarious and uplifting insight into true love, loss and friendship.

Readers say:

Happy Hour was thoroughly charming. Tears and laughter. Loved the relationships formed especially between Franny and the kids next door. Josh’s storyline...was excellent and so beautifully done - I don’t want to give any spoilers Happy Hour absolutely hit the spot, heart-warming, uplifting as well as exploring grief. Fantastic debut & great read.’ - R.W.R McDonald, bestselling author of The Nancy’s

‘I knew I was going to love Happy Hour by Jacquie Byron after the first few pages in!… This is a charming, fun and thought provoking read written with warmth and sensitivity. The characters are wonderfully entertaining and I love Franny’s dark wit. An adorable and feel-good read!’ - Ms G’s Bookshelf

‘This is a beautiful story, fabulously written filled with emotion and laughter, I loved Franny… she is witty and wonderful and Josh, Dee and Sallyanne where such fabulous characters… his is a story that I would highly recommend, a fantastic read huge congrats MS Byron for an awesome debut.’ - Helen, Goodreads

‘A wickedly humorous and touching story of 65-year-old Franny Calderwood… Jacquie Byron is an extraordinary writer, so capably capturing modern life and its tragedies with wit and warmth.’ - Georgia, Goodreads

‘I absolutely adored this book and could not put it down.’ - Rebecca, Goodreads

‘What a gorgeous book. I loved everything about this, especially Franny. Happy Hour warmed my cold dead heart.’ - Mel, Goodreads

‘This book was bloody spectacular, it grabbed me by the heart and squeezed so tightly tears and giggles were escaping left right and centre throughout the whole novel… A fabulous family drama and laugh out loud comedy, I would highly recommend this novel to all, this book deserves to be read and loved, to be shared between friends and definitely to be enjoyed with a side of Franny strength gin and tonic! ’ - Cathy, Goodreads