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Really Good, Actually

A novel by

2024 British Book Award Debut Book of the Year (shortlist)


The Times Popular Fiction Book of the Year

‘A heartbreaker of a book’ THE TIMES

'Alarmingly relatable' MARIAN KEYES

‘Hilarious and profound’ DOLLY ALDERTON

The hottest debut novel of 2023 from Schitt’s Creek and Smothered screenwriter and an Observer debut author of the year, Monica Heisey.

Maggie’s marriage has ended just 608 days after it started, but she’s fine – she’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s alone for the first time and can���t afford her rent and her obscure PhD is going nowhere… but at the age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new status as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.

As Maggie throws herself headlong into the chaos of her first year of divorce, she soon finds herself questioning everything, including: Why do we still get married? Did I fail before I even got started? And how many 4am delivery burgers do I need to eat until I am happy?

Really Good, Actually is an irresistible debut novel about the uncertainties of modern love, friendship and happiness.

'Hilarious, heart-warming, wise' PAULA HAWKINS

‘Heisey makes me laugh hard and often’ ROB DELANEY

‘A Sex and The City for social media-obsessed millennials … Irresistible’ METRO

‘Wry, modern, self-deprecating’ INDEPENDENT

‘One of the most talked-about releases for 2023’ EVENING STANDARD

Monica Heisey's book 'Really Good, Actually' was a Sunday Times bestseller w/c 2023-09-25.

Genre: General Fiction

Praise for this book

"Every sentence of Monica Heisey's writing is a treat. Her observations on men, women, friendship, family, love, sexuality and womanhood are equal parts hilarious and profound. No one makes me laugh like she does." - Dolly Alderton

"Really Good, Actually is a goddamn delight. Heisey doesn't shy away from any of the hard stuff, showcasing the myriad ways people turn into little monsters when their hearts get broken and lose sight of themselves. This novel is wildly funny and compulsively readable, the kind of book you immediately share with your best friend. I adored it." - Kristen Arnett

"The kind of book you miss when you finish but that also leaves you feeling so deliciously content and satisfied. Heisey's pen is by turns relentlessly sharp, incisively funny, sneakily disarming and heartbreakingly tender. This is a wonderful story about love, loss, friendship, rediscovering yourself and the hope that after coming messily apart it is possible to come back together fuller again. Maggie felt like a chaotic friend I adore and Heisey tells her story beautifully." - Bolu Babalola

"From the moment I picked up this book, I haven't stopped talking about it. Really Good, Actually is a hilarious look at divorce, friendship, identity, and the many ways we try and fail to take care of each other. Monica Heisey has given us a modern-day Heartburn, a brilliant, unique, charming novel that I will be recommending to every single person I know." - Jennifer Close

"One of the most hilarious and barbed accounts of unexpectedly starting over I've ever read. Monica Heisey isn't just interested in the romantic side of divorce, but in how our identities collapse and the freefall that accompanies it. If you've ever felt lost and hoped that it was leading towards wisdom, Really Good, Actually is your novel." - Stephanie Danler

"Hilarious, heart-warming, wise." - Paula Hawkins

"Funny. Astutely observed. I loved it. Monica Heisey is a star writer." - B J Novak

"Monica Heisey is a very funny writer, which would be enough for me to recommend this book. But you have to remember: humor isn't a supplement to realism; it's a necessary component of it. Really Good, Actually may start out like a light-hearted not-so-romantic comedy, but it quickly transforms into something more tense and existential, a realistically absurd portrait of a woman who has no idea who she is or what is going on. And yeah, it's really funny." - Lauren Oyler

"Impossibly funny, endearingly felt, alive and rich and ultimately a story of trying not only to find one's self but to figure out how best to care for the people we love. I woke up both my husband and my dog laugh-crying while reading this book." - Lynn Steger Strong

"If Bridget Jones had a long-lost Canadian niece, it would be Monica Heisey's utterly lovable hot-mess of a young divorcee, Maggie. Her voice is so fresh and funny and true, it feels like you've never heard it before, yet so familiar that you will follow it anywhere. Really Good, Actually will also totally make you want to marry each and every one of its comic digressions (the mid-heartbreak Google Searches; the Unanswered Texts, the Tinder Correspondences) because they are so perfect and brilliant and because really, what's better than the deep black humor of heartbreak?" - Laura Zigman

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