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Happiness : A Memoir: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
by Heather Harpham


Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
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More About Happiness by Heather Harpham
 
 
 
Overview

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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250131560
  • ISBN-10: 1250131561
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: August 2017
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Women
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Literary Figures

 
BookPage Reviews

Love and family, in all its messiness

“If I wanted to have children with anyone,” he’d said, “it would be with you.” If was the key word. If was the problem.

Heather Harpham and Brian fell for each other quickly, in a classic opposites-attract scenario. They were both creative professionals, but the obvious common ground ended there. She was as carefree as her California upbringing would suggest, and her disposition was well-suited to her career in theater. Brian, on the other hand, embodied the expectation of the East Coast elite. He preferred time inside, alone, left to his writing.

Their dreams were also at odds: Harpham always expected she would someday become a mother, but Brian had no interest in being a dad.

When Harpham learns she’s pregnant, that news appears to end the relationship. She flees New York, heartbroken but determined to raise their daughter alone. But within hours of Gracie’s birth, doctors realize something is wrong with the infant’s blood.

Gracie’s doctors are unable to pinpoint precisely what is wrong, but frequent blood transfusions help. Harpham doesn’t know what Brian wants, even when he meets their daughter six months after her birth.

Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After follows Harpham’s unexpected pregnancy and all that follows. It is filled with both pain and beauty, and she shares a clear-eyed view of messy relationships and the journey toward something that resembles joy. Harpham’s powerful memoir is the tale of two people struggling to save their daughter while trying to discern what their relationship to one another is all about. “We find happiness, if we find it at all, on accident,” Harpham writes. “We trip over it on our way somewhere else.” And by sharing her own experience, Harpham provides light for others’ paths.

 

This article was originally published in the August 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews