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Published in the UK by Jonathan Cape, 2018


‘I want to be a good person. And I want to be happy. So happy it hurts. I need you to help me with that.’

Ottila McGregor is thirty years old and has decided it’s time to sort her life out. She’s going to quit drinking, stop cheating, and finally find true happiness. Easy, right?

Of course not.

For a start, there’s Grace, her best friend, who believes self-improvement is for people in their forties. Next there’s Mina, her sister, who is mentally ill, and it might even be Ottila’s fault. And then there’s Thales, the Greek guy who works in the hospital cafeteria. He's probably the best, most dangerous person Ottila’s ever met.

To make sense of it all, Ottila keeps a scrapbook of everything: emails, receipts, tickets, letters, her therapy transcripts, a boyfriend's note rescued from the bin... The result is an infectious, one-off of a novel that makes you wince and laugh in equal measure, and that asks the question: what does it take to be so happy it hurts?


'So Happy It Hurts is something of a high-wire act, laugh-out-loud funny at times but also so emotionally honest that it sometimes feels like a punch to the guts... as sharp a novel about 21st-century living as you'll find anywhere.' The Big Issue

'Funny, bleak and heart-warming, sometimes all at the same time.' Daily Mail

A 'raw, funny, and untidily generous novel.' The Guardian

'A heartbreakingly sincere quest for happiness... when it’s happy, Anneliese Mackintosh’s latest work is positively radiant.' ****The Skinny

'A really vibrant and dynamic read... everything about the novel oozes originality. I loved this debut and am desperately hoping that we get a follow-up in the same vein.' Chicklit Club