The Secret To Happiness

Cape Cod Creamery Book 2

Suzanne Woods Fisher

Revell Pub

May 2nd, 2023

The Secret to Happiness by Suzanne Woods Fisher delves into how someone can find their way again when life’s issues seem to be overwhelming. There are issues of forgiveness, redemption, family, love, and hope for the future as family and friends try to bring someone out of their despair.

“I did a lot of research on this subject. Essentially what a person focuses on they will find.  If someone is looking for negative things, they will find them. Flip that around if people push themselves to see the positive moments of a day, they can train the mind to reflect and notice.  In the book it starts with finding three good things a day. There is wonder around like seeing the ocean or looking up at the night sky. For me, I stopped being critical or negative of others. I found I was happier, more generous toward people, and a little more understanding. It is more beneficial to oneself.”

The plot has Callie Dixon fired from her job as an executive chef when she makes a huge error in the kitchen. Now unemployed she starts working for a friend at the Penn State Ice Cream School.  There she bumps into her adored Aunt Marnie who tells her that she and her daughter Dawn recently opened an ice cream shop in Cape Cod. She begs Marnie to let her visit, which Marnie accepts.  

“Callie’s life has been shattered after being fired from her dream job.  She accidentally poisoned 200 people at a Food Safety Conference. Before all this she was a happy person and then suddenly everything collapsed on her. She is so depressed with a heavy weight. She lifted herself up a bit when looking for three good things a day, realizing things are better than she realized.  She is confident, exuberant, a lot of fun before the firing.  After, she is overwhelmed, lonely, scared, anxious, and is not honest with herself.”

After arriving Callie spends all day in bed, rarely even coming downstairs, and when she does, she’s disheveled.  Dawn, Marnie’s daughter, and Callie’s cousin drags her to a happiness class taught by Professor Bruno Bianco. He begins to advise her in subtle ways during their interesting conversations that make her think. When she starts reading his book about finding happiness, she ultimately discovers what her problem is and what she needs to do about it.

Meanwhile, Dawn is concentrating on planning her wedding and trying to bake muffins to add as a staple to sell during the winter months to help sustain the income. Callie tastes them and realizes they are terrible.  To help her cousin and aunt she secretly bakes them, and sales go off the charts. Dawn has always been jealous of her cousin and in some ways resentful since Callie has outshone her and was very high achieving. Now Callie is hesitant to overtly get involved with the Ice Cream Shop because she does not want to make waves. After Callie starts to work out her issues and it becomes apparent that she is helping with the ice cream shop, Marnie, Dawn, and Callie become The Three Musketeers, knowing when the three work together everything improves.

“Callie and Dawn are always competitive and jealous of each other. Both being only children they picked up the competitiveness of their fathers. Dawn is insecure and diminished by Callie in the past.  Callie has always outdone Dawn.  Now Dawn is more creative with the ice cream shop.  Dawn realizes she, her mom, and Callie were a great team, but not until the end of the book. After going through a process, they ended up like sisters.”

A bonus is the six-year-old boy, Leo the Cowboy. He was given the job as a cowboy ice cream tester.  He also is the one to help bring Callie out of her funk and begins to cheer her up and draw her out of her depressed state, winning over her heart.

“He befriended Callie and calls her “Cal girl.” He is cute and forces her to come out of depression.  They meant a lot to each other. I pictured him as Opie in the Andy Griffin Show.  He says what is on his mind. They have this mutually beneficial relationship. He brings a lot of softness into her life and makes her feel like a kid again.”

The good news is that there is another book in the series, but the bad news is that the next book might be the last book in the series. Although this story deals with the heavy topics of depression it does have scenes with plenty of lighter moments. This is an emotional and thought-provoking novel with themes of overcoming fears and finding happiness.



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.