So Happy Together

Written by Deborah K. Shepherd
Review by Hilary Daninhirsch

So Happy Together, an allusion to the 1967 song of the same name by the Turtles, is an engaging throwback to the decade that was defined by cultural, social and political turbulence.

Straddling two time periods, the book tells the story of Caro, an unhappy housewife in the 1980s, who looks back on her college years when she attended the University of Arizona in the 1960s. Feeling unsettled in her marriage and unfulfilled in her life, Caro, after she drops her children off at an overnight summer camp, takes off for North Dakota on an impulse, hoping to reunite with her college love, Peter, but not really knowing what awaits her. Caro and Peter had a complex friendship, but their romantic relationship never really took hold, though Caro is in denial about the real reason why.

During her long drive, she has time to muse about who she was in college and the life-altering friendships she made, the sex, the drugs, the politics, the dreams about the future.

The 1960s was a tumultuous time period, the decade that truly changed America, and many who lived through it look back on it with nostalgia. The author could not have painted a more engrossing and intriguing picture of that time period, with authentic, albeit flawed, characters who represent that era. A story of unrequited love, of tolerance, of growth and forgiveness, this is one that will leave an impression.