SINGLE, CAREFREE, MELLOW: Stories by Katherine Heiny

SINGLE, CAREFREE, MELLOW: Stories by Katherine HeinySingle, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on February 3rd 2015
Pages: 240
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Humorous, Literary
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley


“Katherine Heiny's work does something magical: elevates the mundane so that it has the stakes of a mystery novel, gives women's interior lives the gravity they so richly deserve -- and makes you laugh along the way.”—Lena DunhamSingle, Carefree, Mellow is that rare and wonderful thing: a debut that is superbly accomplished, endlessly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Maya is in love with both her boyfriend and her boss. Sadie’s lover calls her as he drives to meet his wife at marriage counseling. Gwen pines for her roommate, a man who will hold her hand but then tells her that her palm is sweaty. And Sasha agrees to have a drink with her married lover’s wife and then immediately regrets it. These are the women of Single, Carefree, Mellow, and in these eleven sublime stories they are grappling with unwelcome houseguests, disastrous birthday parties, needy but loyal friends, and all manner of love, secrets, and betrayal.

In “Cranberry Relish” Josie’s ex—a man she met on Facebook—has a new girlfriend he found on Twitter. In “Blue Heron Bridge” Nina is more worried that the Presbyterian minister living in her garage will hear her kids swearing than about his finding out that she’s sleeping with her running partner. And in “The Rhett Butlers” a teenager loses her virginity to her history teacher and then outgrows him.

In snappy, glittering prose that is both utterly hilarious and achingly poignant, Katherine Heiny chronicles the ways in which we are unfaithful to each other, both willfully and unwittingly. Maya, who appears in the title story and again in various states of love, forms the spine of this linked collection, and shows us through her moments of pleasure, loss, deceit, and kindness just how fickle the human heart can be.From the Hardcover edition.

Reading time 2 mins

What a wonderful cover this books has? Single, Carefree, Mellow looks like a great read. I saw this cover and knew immediately I wanted to read it. Unfortunately, I disliked so much about this book that the cover is the only part I still enjoy.

This book is actually ten stories by Katherine Heiny. Some of them intersect. Some I skipped over due to the narration style, so I am not sure about. I was really disappointed to find out it was short stories. it seemed like as soon as the characters got interesting, the story ended. Let’s start by saying that none of the characters in this story were single, carefree or mellow at all. The first one was pretty good. I mean, the writing and character development were pretty good. I was just waiting for ah-ha moment, or some sort of conclusion and then the story just ended. There was a lot of cheating and children in this story. Not that the children were main characters or anything, but they were there. the result of sex with marriage.

This book contained some trivial stories: a woman who meets his lover’s wife after she finds out, a pregnant woman who finally thinks like her husband, a mother having a child’s birthday party, a girl who carries on an affair with her high school history teacher, and a few others. I could have done without these characters in my head. I just couldn’t see the point of these stories. They were well written and I could see that the author tried to make light of their situations, but I did not enjoy these tales.

Someone might pick it up and find some of this relateable. I just couldn’t get into any of these stories enough to give this a good recommendation. This seemed like such a depressing read to me.

My Rating

About this author

Katherine Heiny’s fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative,Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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By | 2017-12-16T10:58:44+00:00 Monday, February 9, 2015|2 stars, Contemporary, reviews, Woman's Fiction|6 Comments

About the Author:

Mother, Lover, Writer, Reviewer, Social Media Princess. Karen has been a blogger since 2010. She is a US Army veteran, a medical professional, and the mother of four. Karen is the owner of That Book Store llc. She reviews books and shares mind vomit for this blog in her 'spare' time. Karen lives in New England.


  1. Heidi February 9, 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Ugh. I don’t think this is for me either, I read a book like this awhile back A Visit from the Goon Squad or something like that, and it was a bunch of short intersecting short stories with unlikable characters. It left a real nasty feeling, and I don’t care to read another like it, which this reminds me of.
    Check Out Heidi’s most recent post- Review: Red Queen by Victoria AveyardMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      February 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

      Yea, probably better off skipping this one. Bad books should have covers to match. I got duped by this one.

  2. kimbacaffeinate February 9, 2015 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    What a shame, collections can be iffy. I agree the cover is wonderful.
    Check Out kimbacaffeinate’s most recent post- Red Queen by Victoria AveyardMy Profile

  3. Read This Round Up #21 | Read This February 16, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    […] Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny ~KissinBlueKaren […]

  4. Read This Round Up #21 | Geeky Nymph February 26, 2015 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    […] Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny ~KissinBlueKaren […]

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