Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine’s April 2018 book pick
A shirt-grabbing, page-turning love story that follows a one-of-a-kind family through twists of fate that require nearly unimaginable choices.
Happiness begins with a charming courtship between hopelessly attracted opposites: Heather, a world-roaming California girl, and Brian, an intellectual, homebody writer, kind and slyly funny, but loath to leave his Upper West Side studio. Their magical interlude ends, full stop, when Heather becomes pregnant—Brian is sure he loves her, only he doesn't want kids. Heather returns to California to deliver their daughter alone, buoyed by family and friends. Mere hours after Gracie's arrival, Heather's bliss is interrupted when a nurse wakes her, "Get dressed, your baby is in trouble."
This is not how Heather had imagined new motherhood – alone, heartsick, an unexpectedly solo caretaker of a baby who smelled "like sliced apples and salted pretzels" but might be perilously ill. Brian reappears as Gracie's condition grows dire; together Heather and Brian have to decide what they are willing to risk to ensure their girl sees adulthood.
The grace and humor that ripple through Harpham's writing transform the dross of heartbreak and parental fears into a clear-eyed, warm-hearted view of the world. Profoundly moving and subtly written, Happiness radiates in many directions--new, romantic love; gratitude for a beautiful, inscrutable world; deep, abiding friendship; the passion a parent has for a child; and the many unlikely ways to build a family. Ultimately it's a story about love and happiness, in their many crooked configurations.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Difficult story to write & to read
This is one of those books that I found difficult to read because it’s about a very seriously ill child. At the same time, I could hardly put the book down because, well, it’s about a seriously ill child. I was so involved with this little girl, with her family, with her treatment. I had to know if they won the battle. They had a hard journey that I took with them in a very small way. I’m glad that’s the only way I’ve had to take that journey & I pray it stays that way.
All the Feelings
As a wife and mother, I felt everything in this memoir. Author has such a compelling voice and writing style, I couldn’t put it down.
Perfectly written, a story of REAL life.
What an incredible journey for this family. This story touched me in so many ways. Throughout this beautifully written memoir, I was able to feel on a visceral level, the emotional journey of everyone involved. As a wife, mother, nurse, friend, and above all, a person with a loved one suffering from a chronic disease, I was able to find myself inside all of the people who touched her story. Thank you, Heather, for sharing this with the world.