Happy As Larry: A New York Story of Cults, Crushes and Quaaludes

After her beloved father suddenly dies, teenage Saskia gets a crash course in growing up, in the gritty glamour of 1970s New York. Her downwardly mobile family move from Gramercy Park to the seedy Upper West Side. Her mother becomes increasingly nihilistic and embarks on a sexual walkabout, which costs her the trust of Saskia’s two older siblings, who consequently run away to join the Sullivanians, a predatory psychosexual cult. Ex-communicated by her siblings, Saskia becomes her mom’s mom. High school becomes all about getting high at school, as Saskia struggles with grieving, hapless crushes, fixing her family, and the desire to be loved. This witty, heartbreaking, but ultimately affirming coming-of-age novel doubles as a love letter to a Manhattan of an edgier era, and speaks to the chaos of closure and the satisfaction of self-determination.

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