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Real Happy Family: A Novel by Caeli Wolfson Widger

"A witty debut that puts an entertaining reality TV spin on a perennial topic:  mother-daughter dysfunction." People

"The leading ladies here are the stuff of reality-show legend, but Widger's supporting cast are the ones who are impossible not to watch.  One couple blunders through infertility; the other grapples with authenticity and aging.  We were pulling for the whole gang — and loved the surprise twists at the end." Glamour

“This entertaining debut novel unsparingly takes on damaged family ecosystems and the show-business machine. Widger has created a delicate suspension bridge out of her characters’ relationships to one another and the world, and throughout the course of the novel, she steadily, craftily adds weight, making for compulsive reading.” Kirkus Reviews

Real Happy Family, Caeli Wolfson Widger’s debut novel, is an authentic story about the artifice of reality television and America’s obsession with it. It’s no small order to find depth in a genre synonymous with vapid depravity, but Widger does—not in the shows themselves, but in the complicated dynamics of a family willing to put their dysfunction on display…Set primarily in Los Angeles, the novel resembles the city itself, where a superficial veneer belies a more complicated truth…Widger’s prose really moves; it’s as if she has her foot on the accelerator the entire time. The novel’s shifting perspective is most fun when Lorelei is at the wheel—reading her is like partying with a speed freak without the awful comedown.” Los Angeles Review of Books

“Widger skewers Hollywood fame hunters in her sharply funny debut...a thoroughly enjoyable read.” Booklist

Real Happy Family is the twenty-first century version of Nathanael West's Day of the Locust, a report in 2013 on what has happen to West's Hollywood—and America—during the last seventy-five years.  Like West's book, it is both an anatomy of the times and a prophecy of our continuing confusion.” —Jay Martin, author of Nathanael West: The Art of His Life