The Happiest Girl in the World: A Novel by Alena Dillon


From the acclaimed author of Mercy House comes a gripping novel about a young woman’s dreams of being an Olympic gymnast—and the dark history that one has to keep secret on the road to the top.

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It started as something to do after school and grew into an obsession. For Sera Anderson, the Olympics is the reason for everything: it’s why she trains thirty hours a week, starves herself to under 100 pounds, and pops Advil like Tic Tacs.

For her mother, it’s a means to achieve the glory she never had. It’s why she rises before dawn to drive Sera to practice. And why the family scrimps, saves, and fractures.

It’s why, when her best friend and fellow elite gymnast reports their doctor to the authority who selects the Olympic Team, Sera denies all that she knows about his treatments.

Their friendship shatters. But Sera protected her dream—didn’t she?

Sera doubles down, enlisting an abusive coach, numbing torn muscles, turning to Adderall for extra energy and focus, and then upping her dose. Soon, she isn’t training for the love of the sport. She’s training to make her disloyalty worthwhile. No matter the cost.

The Happiest Girl in the World explores the dark history behind an athlete who stands on the world stage, biting down on a gold medal. It’s about the sacrifices a parent will make for a child, even as a family is torn apart. It’s about the price of pursuing greatness.

The Happiest Girl in the World: A Novel by Alena Dillon
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