Happy as Larry
A New York Story of Cults, Crushes and Quaaludes
by Kaethe Cherney
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Pub Date 20 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2023
When Saskia’s father dies suddenly, she’s forced to grow up fast in the gritty glamour of 1970's New York City. Her family moves from Gramercy Park to the seedy Upper West Side of Manhattan, where her mother becomes increasingly nihilistic and embarks on a sexual walkabout. Saskia’s older siblings run away to join the Sullivanians, a predatory psychosexual cult, leaving her to take care of her mom. Ex-communicated by her siblings, high School becomes all about getting high at school as Saskia struggles to cope with her grief, hapless crushes, and the desire to be loved.
This raw and gripping coming-of-age novel is a love letter to a Manhattan of an edgier era and to Saskia’s former self as she reconciles her father’s death, her mother's downward spiral, family estrangement, and the search for love in the face of heartbreak and loss.
A Note From the Publisher
This title was originally published in 2018, but this is a reissue to coincide with a new book about The Sullivanians that is publishing in late June.
"A heart-breaking novel about an unusual childhood." - Alexander Stille, author of The Sullivanians: Sex, Psychotherapy, and the Wild Life of an American Commune
"How a psychosexual 'cult' tried to tear apart [her] family." - New York Post
"You won't be able to put it down!" - Giancarlo Esposito
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 11 members
This was a great book. The beautifully written prose kept me in its grasp from the first sentence until the last. Part of the time I felt like I was morbidly watching a train wreck, but I cared enough about Saskia to keep rooting for her. I thought the ending fit the story perfectly. Highly recommended!