-Her parents, who are having problems. Read more...
-Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they're not.)
-Being sent to her grandparents' house for the summer.
-Never having met said grandparents.
-Her blue days--when life feels overwhelming, and it's hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.) Finley's only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents' house and realizes the Everwood is real--and holds more mysteries than she'd ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn't allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones. With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she'll first have to save herself.
- ISBN-13: 9781442466012
- ISBN-10: 1442466014
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: May 2016
- Page Count: 384
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-29
- Reviewer: Staff
Finley, 11, is sent to spend her summer at Hart House, her estranged grandparents’ country estate, while her parents deal with their divorce. Feeling like a stranger among her own family, she finds solace in the woods across the river because she believes them to be the real version of the magical Everwood she writes about. Legrand (The Year of Shadows) weaves portions of Finley’s tales seamlessly through the novel, building a foundation of understanding for Finley’s feelings of isolation and overwhelming sadness. As Finley allows her cousins into her imaginary world, she begins to trust her family and build friendships, but these new feelings of acceptance do not keep Finley’s depression and anxiety at bay. Legrand handles the tough subject of childhood mental health gently and honestly, and—through the dual narratives of Finley’s real and fantasy lives—paints a realistic picture of a girl trying to figure out what’s wrong with her. Finley’s quest to uncover family secrets reveals not just what kept her father away from his relatives but how a family sticks together through good times and bad. Ages 8–12. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (May)
A dream world becomes the real world
Claire Legrand’s Some Kind of Happiness explores life’s awkward silences, ruined moments and hidden truths.
Eleven-year-old Finley navigates life like a prisoner. Held captive by a darkness from within, she struggles with terrible thoughts, night sweats and unexplained bouts of panic. Though overwhelmed by depression, she hides it well. Even her parents, busy with their lives and failing relationship, don’t know. The chronic sadness is Finley’s secret—as is Evermore, a land of her invention where twisted trees, trolls and a dark castle let her escape to a magical realm.
When Finley is sent to live with grandparents she’s never met, she feels even more like a stranger in her own skin. However, once she sees the forest behind her grandparents’ house, she recognizes it as her Evermore—a wild place, a real place where she can be herself. Cautiously, she invites her cousins—and the Bailey boys, whom they’ve been told to avoid—into her world, and soon the summer’s trajectory takes on a life all its own.
Legrand’s greatest strengths are her elegant restraint and her visceral portrayal of her characters from the inside out.