• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 20, 2021)
• Paperback: 384 pages
One of Good Morning America‘s Best Books of April!
From the acclaimed author of Mercy House comes a gripping new novel about a young woman’s dreams of Olympic gymnastic gold—and what it takes to reach the top
For Sera Wheeler, the Olympics is the reason for everything. It’s why she trains thirty hours a week, starves herself to under 100 pounds, and pops Advil like Tic Tacs.
For her mother, Charlene, hungry for glory she never had, it’s why she rises before dawn to drive Sera to practice in a different state, and why the family scrimps, saves, and fractures. It’s why, when Sera’s best friend reports the gymnastics doctor to the authority who selects the Olympic Team, Sera denies what she knows about his treatments, thus preserving favor.
Their friendship shatters. But Sera protected her dream—didn’t she?
Sera doubles down, taping broken toes, numbing torn muscles, and pouring her family’s resources into the sport. Soon she isn’t training for the love of gymnastics. She’s training to make her disloyalty worthwhile. No matter the cost.
The Happiest Girl in the World explores the dark history behind an athlete who stands on the world stage, biting gold. It’s about the silence required of the exceptional, a tarnished friendship, and the sacrifices a parent will make for a child, even as a family is torn apart. It’s about the price of greatness.
Please use the hashtag #TheHappiestGirlInTheWorld, and tag @tlcbooktours, @williammorrowbooks, and @alena.dillon.
About Alena Dillon
Alena Dillon is the author of Mercy House, which is in development as a CBS All Access television series. Her work has appeared in publications including LitHub, River Teeth, Slice Magazine, The Rumpus, and Bustle. She teaches creative writing and lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, son, and dog.
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