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

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Dear Fellow Reader,

And this week for something a little different, a memoir. While it is not always my first choice, I do like to read about the choices people make in their lives and why they make those choices. Human nature can be so interesting. I prefer to say that I am inquisitive but, the word “nosy” might be used by some. I am interested in how people think and act. The “why’s” are interesting.

I was lost in Happiness from the first. At the beginning of the book, there are some flashback sequences and they are so well done that you don’t think about the time sequence.

9781250131560The book is written in the first person. Heather, who is from California meets Brian while she is working at a university in New York City. Brian is an author and college professor. They fall in love. They have a life in New York and they are happy. Then Heather gets pregnant. Brian has made clear all along that he does not want to be a parent.  When Heather gets pregnant, he does not change his mind. Heather is heartbroken but she is going to have the baby and decides that she should go back to California to be by friends and family is she is going to raise the baby by herself.

When the baby is born, she tells Brian that he has a daughter. Hours after the baby is born, the nurse comes to take the baby for a few tests. Heather, who is completely enamored with the baby allows them to take her but waits anxiously for the baby’s return. Finally, a doctor comes to her room to tell her that they need to transfer the baby to a bigger hospital and that the baby’s life is in danger. Scared and not understanding what if happening, Heather rides in the ambulance to the other hospital. Her wonderful daughter has a problem with her blood. Her red blood cells are not holding together.

This is how the story begins. The story continues with Heather telling Brian and his decision that he needs to come and see the baby. The wait to see if the health issue will ever be diagnosed, to see if Heather and Brian will both be parents of this little girl, and how at almost 4 years old Amelia Grace will travel to Durham, NC, for a transplant. The transplant is Gracie’s best chance for a long life but there is no guarantee that she will live through the transplant.

It is a love story. It is sad and scary and has imperfect characters. But the characters are real and you want it to all work out for them. If it were not a memoir, you would complain that some of the twists and turns could not possibly happen but because life is odd sometimes, those things do happen.

I think this is a good book. The pacing is good and it talks about emotional issues without being too dramatic. You feel the confusion without it being shoved down your throat.

Thanks for reading.

And before I forget (again!) I was given a copy of this book for my unbiased review. Thanks to Henry Holt Publishing for this book!

 

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About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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