A Happy Catastrophe

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Published by: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: May 26, 2020
ISBN13: 978-1542006460



Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney have been in love for a few years now, enough time to realize that they are imperfectly perfect together. Still, there are some things that maybe need a little attention. Marnie is ebullient, while Patrick is brooding. She thrives on change; he prefers stability. She sees marriage and parenthood in their future, while he can’t see beyond the shadow of an earlier tragedy. Then an eight-year-old surprise from Patrick’s past shows up on their doorstep, cartwheeling into their lives and spinning things in all directions. While it’s not exactly what she had envisioned, it looks like instant family to Marnie. But Patrick, afraid of being hurt again, retreats further into himself. Suddenly, two pieces of a perfect puzzle find it harder and harder to fit together. And Marnie, who has always believed in the magic of the universe, has to come to terms with the fact that sometimes you simply have to give up before you can get what you want.


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"In A Happy Catastrophe, author Maddie Dawson works magic on the page as she takes us into the life of big-hearted Marnie MacGraw, a woman who can literally see the sparkle of love in the air. Marnie is surrounded by a constellation of vivid characters who, whether searching for connection or confronting loss, keep pressing on through the rich and wondrous catastrophe of life. A beautifully written testament to the tenacity of hope and the power of love."
—Nancy Star, bestselling author of Sisters One, Two, Three

“A triumphant tale about the redemptive magic of love—and the way life sometimes drags us through the muck before giving us what we never knew we wanted. Marnie is one of the most delightful heroines in contemporary fiction and you won’t want to miss her!"
—Kerry Anne King, bestselling author of Whisper Me This

“If you enjoyed Matchmaking for Beginners as much as I did, prepare to be spellbound by A Happy Catastrophe—in which Marnie and the people closest to her discover that magic isn’t getting what you want, but rather in loving what life surprises you with. Maddie Dawson is at the top of her game in this charming and unputdownable novel.”
—Camille Pagán, bestselling author of I’m Fine and Neither Are You

“I’ve enjoyed every book Maddie Dawson has written—her novels are the kind you fall into and don’t come up for air until you’ve finished—but A HAPPY CATASTROPHE may be her finest, most captivating work yet. In it, Dawson explores the stuff that truly matters—the swirl of love and fear and tragedy and joy that is life—with incomparable wit and charm. I found myself laughing out loud, crying into my tea, and wishing the book would never end.”
–Loretta Nyhan, bestselling author of Digging In

“I am a big, big fan of Maddie Dawson, and A Happy Catastrophe is one of those rare books--a sequel that is even more enjoyable than its deservedly stellar predecessor. In the follow-up to Matchmaking for Beginners, Maddie Dawson has taken her airy, madcap character on a walk through the hard work of not just falling in love, but staying the course with a man who has a few things to work out, and what results is a tale of great heart and insight--sprinkled with stardust and hope."
—Barbara O'Neal, bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids

“What happens when a tortured artist and a Pollyanna with a touch of magic fall in love? You get a story both playful and moving, inspired and insightful. Marnie fans and new readers alike will fall in love with this book and Maddie Dawson's delicious characters. I didn't want it to end!"
–Kelly Harms, bestselling author of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler


Chapter One


Patrick is late meeting me for dinner, which is good because it means I get a few minutes to sit by myself at our favorite table in the back of LaMont’s, where I can sip my merlot and practice how I’m going to ask him my big question.

Patrick and I have been together for nearly four years, and I can talk to him about every little thought that might come into my head, but this—this is one of those questions, you see. Life-altering stuff. And Patrick is a man who has already had enough life-altering situations to last him a hundred years. He would prefer decades of some good old status quo.

But . . . I just can’t.

So I take a gulp of my wine and close my eyes. I left the flower shop early so I could rehearse. Luckily, this is Brooklyn, so people on the subway didn’t seem to notice that I was practicing out loud and enumerating talking points on my fingers.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. “Patrick,” I will say, “I love you more than anything. You, my love, are the flap in my flapjack. The cream in the center of my Oreo cookie. The monster in my monster mash. And you are the horizon of all my longing.”

Sappy? God, yes, although that part about the horizon of my longing might be considered poetic if I use the right tone of voice. If I’m lucky, he’ll laugh. And once he laughs, it’ll be easy. I’ll just blurt the question out, and then it will be done. Yes or no.

“Yes or no, Patrick,” I’ll say. “Take all the time you like, my love, but please remember that I am already thirty-three years old, and that loud banging noise you hear—well, that thing is my heart.”

For God’s sake, get a grip, Marnie.

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