Alena Dillon Happiest Girl in the World

Join Alena Dillon In Conversation with Meghan MacLean Weir as they talk about The Happiest Girl in the World.powered by CrowdcastFrom the acclaimed author of Mercy House comes a gripping new novel about a young woman's dreams of Olympic gymnastic gold--and what it takes to reach the top

For Sera Wheeler, the Olympics is the reason for everything. It's why she trains thirty hours a week, starves herself to under 100 pounds, and pops Advil like Tic Tacs.

For her mother, Charlene, hungry for glory she never had, it's why she rises before dawn to drive Sera to practice in a different state, and why the family scrimps, saves, and fractures. It's why, when Sera's best friend reports the gymnastics doctor to the authority who selects the Olympic Team, Sera denies what she knows about his treatments, thus preserving favor.

Their friendship shatters. But Sera protected her dream--didn't she?

Sera doubles down, taping broken toes, numbing torn muscles, and pouring her family's resources into the sport. Soon she isn't training for the love of gymnastics. She's training to make her disloyalty worthwhile. No matter the cost.

The Happiest Girl in the World explores the dark history behind an athlete who stands on the world stage, biting gold. It's about the silence required of the exceptional, a tarnished friendship, and the sacrifices a parent will make for a child, even as a family is torn apart. It's about the price of greatness.

Alena Dillon is the author of Mercy House, a Library Journal Best Book of 2020, which is in development as a CBS All Access television series, and My Body Is A Big Fat Temple, a memoir of pregnancy and early parenting, forthcoming from Woodhall Press October 2021. Her work has appeared in publications including LitHub, River Teeth, Slice Magazine, The Rumpus, and Bustle. She teaches creative writing and lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son, and dog. 

 

The Book of Essie, a debut novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the emotionally stirring, wildly captivating story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an evangelical preacher, star of the family's hit reality show, and the secret pregnancy that threatens to blow their entire world apart.

Esther Ann Hicks--Essie--is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie's mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show's producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia's? Or do they try to arrange a marriage--and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media--through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell--Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?

Meghan MacLean Weir was raised in the rectory of her father’s church in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and later moved with her family to Buffalo, New York. Her memoir, Between Expectations: Lessons from a Pediatric Residency, chronicles her years in training at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. She continues to live and work as a physician in the Boston area.

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
272 CABOT ST
BEVERLY, MA 01915-4523
The Happiest Girl in the World: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063019041
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - April 20th, 2021

Mercy House: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062914804
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - February 11th, 2020

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The Book of Essie Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525436072
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 2019