Stephen May (a published student)
March 2014

About the publication

Nicky has always known Russell was rich, but he has no idea how astronomically rich Russell is until his friend drops dead, on his 50th birthday, in his San Francisco mansion, with Nicky as the only witness. For forty years the two men have kept up their friendship, with Russell's birthday offering him an annual opportunity to remind Nicky of how much more successful Russell is, and how much further he has come since their English suburban childhood. And now Nicky has come up with an uncharacteristically daring plan. If Nicky 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 begins to be 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 movements...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 do actually find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.


The sense of jeopardy leaps from the page, and so does the writing. Hooked

Elle Magazine

He riffs entertainingly on failure . Talk of misspent youth, assassins and obstreperous protagonists belies the emotional core which makes May's books moving.

Independent on Sunday

A morality tale that explores the difference between material and real happiness ... There are some great comic set pieces and fine writing from May, whose quips demonstrate a knack for the ridiculous.


May delivers more of his signature modern-day morality with his hilarious third novel ... A charmingly ill-fated adventure ... with wit and sharp observation, May keeps the novel entertaining throughout. A compelling holiday read for anyone who has ever believed that the grass might actually be greener.

Western Mail

Sharp and funny.