Read advance reader review of Happiness by Heather Harpham, page 2 of 8

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The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After

by Heather Harpham

Happiness by Heather Harpham X
Happiness by Heather Harpham
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Aug 2017, 320 pages

    Nov 2018, 320 pages


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Page 2 of 8
There are currently 52 member reviews
for Happiness
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  • Lynn H. (Des Moines, IA)
    Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    Happiness is a book of love, compassion, vulnerability and fear. I could not put this moving book down. It grips you from the first page and keeps you turning pages until the last page when you are so sorry the book has come to an end. This book demonstrates the love of a parent for a child in such a gut-gripping way it makes you hug your own child and not let go. This book is so memorable and gripping because it is a true story and you root for the health of a beautiful little girl and the relationship between her parents. I will recommend this book to everyone I know.
  • Lynne S. (Coto de Caza, CA)
    truth, grace and real life
    What a beautiful story, well told! It's been a while since I've read a book that I just couldn't wait to get back to. I read it on a trip to Paris and even after full days of sight-seeing in record breaking heat, I couldn't go to sleep until I had my fill of Gracie and Gabriel, Heather and Brian. I think what makes it special is the tone of the book, the generosity of the author to her family and friends. I wanted to know them, to spend time with them. At the same time, she is so honest about life, love, family and the unexpected turns that make it both terrifying and the thing that keeps you going. For me, the author hit just the right balance of medical information, descriptions of the effects of the disease and the family dynamics. The depth of character development was especially well done. I'd love to discuss this one with my book group.
  • Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
    A Search for Love and Happiness
    Heather Harpham "s new book, "Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi Ever After" is a compassionate, intelligent story of a family's story of parenting a sick child.

    Heather's writing voice is full of charm and profoundly moving as the story begins with a delightful courtship between her, a worldly California girl, and Brian, an intellectual homebody writer who doesn't want to leave his New York lifestyle. Their magical interlude ends when she becomes pregnant and her newly acquired lover doesn't want kids, even though he says he loves her. With the help of her family and friends, she returns to California to deliver their daughter alone. Within hours of her delivery she is told her baby is perilously ill. As the child's condition continues to grow dismal, the father
    reappears and together they must decide what they will risk to ensure the child will reach adulthood.

    Intensely moving and intelligently written, this book covers a multitude of subjects: romance, friendships, parental passion, and abiding friendships. However, ultimately it is a story about her family search for love and happiness.
  • Florence H. (Laguna Woods, CA)
    This well written memoir gives a glimpse into the hard decisions parents of medically fragile children must make. The effects of such adversities on the parental relationships was depicted with humor and pathos. How fortunate that this family had such support from their family and friends and medical, financial means to provide their child the very best treatment.
  • Arlene M. (White Oak, PA)
    Happiness The Crooked Little Road to Semi-ever After
    Happiness (The Crooked Little Road to Semi-ever After) is the best book I have read this year. I was a little hesitant when I received the book to review because of the subject matter - I didn't want to read a "downer". It was a "happy" memoir and I was quickly immersed in the story and could not put it down. Heather Harpham is an outstanding journalist and her story should be read by all who have a perilously ill child, new parents, people contemplating having children, people who have raised children, etc. Heather, Brian, Gracie and Gabe's story was an eye-opener as to what is involved in the care of desperately sick children. It brought out a wealth of emotions in me that I won't soon forget.
  • Dorothy G. (Naperville, IL)
    Personal, beautiful, intense
    An intimate and insightful view of life through the eyes of a mother whose child has a life threatening disease. Heather Harpham allows us to see this world from many different angles...all very personal....from the relationship between Gracie's parents, their friends, the grandparents, and the caretakers, and, of course, Gracie. Hard book to put down, but once finished left me, and I'm sure many others, with a desire to do my part and look into being a donor. The hard decisions they made as parents were explained in such a way that I often had to stop reading and consider what I would do in such a situation. Thank you for this candid story.
  • Myrna M. (Chapel Hill, NC)
    The Truth Behind Happiness
    When I started this book, I thought it might be a non-fiction slightly different version of Jodi Picoult's novel, My Sister's Keeper—but after 40-50 pages, I was disabused of that notion. This, too, is a tale about a sick child and a donor sibling, but it is a tale of truth and love and honesty. It is a story of feelings, positive and negative, offered so starkly and expressed so beautifully that the lump in my throat was not one born of despair but of hope that this family would come out the other side of illness more intact than when they embarked upon a cure for their daughter. I was grateful that the author kept notes, day by day, of the family's endurance during their child's treatment. This book will enrich the life of all readers whether they have experienced the tragedy of having a very sick (and ultimately incurable) child as I did or experienced the joy of healthy children or even are childless.

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