6-20 September, 2022

Growing older doesn’t necessarily mean growing wiser. Gin in one hand, paintbrush in the other, Franny Calderwood has turned her back on the world, or at least the world she used to love. Having lost her husband, Frank, in tragic circumstances three years earlier, 65-year-old Franny copes the only way she knows how: by removing herself completely from the life she had before. Franny lives a life of decadent seclusion, with only her two dogs, Whisky and Soda, a stuffed cat, cocktails and the memory of Frank for company. Then the Salernos move in next door.

The troubled but charming trio—beleaguered mother Sallyanne, angry teenager Dee and eccentric eight-year-old Josh—cannot help but pull Franny into the drama of their lives. But despite her fixation with independence, Franny’s wisecracks and culinary experiments hide considerable trauma and pain, and when her eccentric behaviour has life-threatening consequences she faces a reckoning of sorts. Yes, Frank is dead, but did the woman he loved have to perish with him? A story about one woman, two dogs, and the family next door, Happy Hour is a hilarious and uplifting insight into grief, loss, true love and friendship.

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Jacquie Byron was born in Melbourne and her home is full of treasured items, including an Irish dancing costume and a Scottish whisky collection.

As a journalism graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, her work has taken her from the world of pop divas and jewellery designers to light commercial vehicles and Ugandan IDP camps.

In 2015, she was awarded a Glenfern Fellowship and in 2016 , Trouble Sleeping, received a Highly Commended in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

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