For decades, Nicky and Russell have kept up the friendship they began in childhood, and for decades, Russell's annual birthday celebration has reminded Nicky of how much more successful Russell is, how astronomically rich he is, and how much further he has come since their suburban childhood. But on his fiftieth birthday, Russell drops dead in his San Francisco mansion, with Nicky as the only witness.
And now Nicky has come up with an uncharacteristically daring plan. If he were to become Russell and leave his old life lying dead on the bathroom floor, then he, his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Scarlett, could start again. Only with better clothes, better hair, better stuff, and a better future: everything that money can buy. Especially happiness.
But when the foundations of their glittering new existence start to crack, the impact of Nicky's hasty decision is felt by all those around him: by his daughter; by his own distant, confused father; by a young English woman who has come to America in search of her father; and by the mysterious Catherine, an ex-soldier who seems to take an unhealthy interest in Nicky's activities.
Sharp, funny, warm, and acutely observed, Wake Up Happy Every Day is a novel about dreams and delusions, family and friendship, and what happens if you actually find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.