Happiest Girl in the World: A Novel

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Sera Wheeler has been chasing a dream since childhood: to be an Olympic gymnast. By the time she’s a teenager, elite gymnastics is her entire world. But setbacks, losses, and injuries–not to mention a global pandemic–keep her Olympic goal dangerously out of reach. Her entire family pays the price for Sera’s single-mindedness, and even her most treasured friendship suffers. When the country’s most respected gymnastics doctor is accused of sexual misconduct, Sera makes the choice to carry on with her plans–at any cost. But the price she must pay seems to get steeper and steeper. When Sera finally faces down her longed-for success, the happiness she assumed she’d feel has taken on complicated shadows she could never have imagined.

Dillon offers an insider’s glimpse into the intense, painful, often abusive world of elite gymnastics, where young girls are subjected to physical and emotional trials that seem impossible, even inhumane, to outsiders. Sera’s obsession is rendered convincingly, a motivating factor for every questionable decision. Readers will want Sera to succeed–while also gaining a queasy understanding of just what her success requires. This straight-from-the-headlines novel is a timely and compelling read.

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Author Alena Dillon
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date 20-Apr-2021
ISBN 9780063019041
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2021
Category Popular Fiction