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Happiness by Aminatta Forna
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Happiness

by Aminatta Forna

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212,551,640 (4)1
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Happiness by Aminatta Forna reads like a character study where even the most minor people get some in-depth background details. The two main characters, Attila and Jean, meet by coincidence and the story goes on to describe them individually as well as how they interact. "Attila was not unhappy, he was simply living with a grief that had become his quiet companion." It's a slow mover but stories of the two are interesting enough to keep the reader engaged. First part of the book has a little bit of mystery and the last half has a little romance. The writing style of going back and forth is abrupt and the change of scenes from one paragraph to the next is sometimes disconcerting. The book has many layered themes: loneliness, grief, love, death, hope, as well as coyotes, foxes, and parakeets. "Everything happens for a reason, that was Jean's view, and part of her job was tracing those chains of cause and effect, mapping the interconnectedness of things." There are many dramatic events (missing child, animal murder, death of a friend) yet they are handled in such a quiet way that they too seem to become just another emotion to add to the character study. "'Trauma does not equal destiny.'...the emotional vulnerability of trauma is oftentimes transformed into emotional strength." This is an interesting novel and I recommend it. ( )
  standhenry | Aug 12, 2017 |
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