'"All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them,' Isak Dinesen once said. Sorrows are all pain otherwise, pain without sense or meaning. But joys, too, it seems to me, need their context. And sometimes their coexistence needs to be borne. The coexistence or possibility of the opposite can be what gives an experience its meaning. At its simplest, that is a story." —Camilla Gibb, This Is Happy
In this profoundly moving memoir, Camilla Gibb, the award-winning, bestselling author of Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement, reveals the intensity of the grief that besieged her as the happiness of a longed for family shattered. Grief that lived in a potent mix with the solace that arose with the creation of another, most unexpected family. A family constituted by a small cast of resilient souls, adults broken in the way many of us are, united in love for a child. Reflecting on tangled moments of past sadness and joy, alienation and belonging, Gibb revisits her stories now in relation to the happy daughter who will inherit them, and she finds there new meaning and beauty.
Raw and unflinching, intelligent and humane, This Is Happy asks the big questions and finds answers in the tender moments of the everyday.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Toronto-based author Camilla Gibb’s memoir completely floored us. Gibbs describes her harrowing formative years, along with the loves, losses, and outlandish experiences that shattered her spirit but also made her an extraordinary writer and observer of human behaviour. Even though the subject matter is sad and heavy (child neglect, addiction, mental illness), This Is Happy left us uplifted. Every chapter took our breath away, reminding us of the vast potential of our short human lives.