Often I Am Happy: Book summary and reviews of Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøndahl

Often I Am Happy

by Jens Christian Grøndahl

Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøndahl X
Often I Am Happy by Jens Christian Grøndahl
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  • Published Apr 2017
    176 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

This elegant and nuanced literary gem explores the intricacies of friendship, secrets, and two marriages, for fans of The Dinner and Dept. of Speculation.

"Often I am happy and yet I want to cry; / For no heart fully shares my joy." -B.S. Ingemann

Ellinor is seventy. Her husband Georg has just passed away, and she is struck with the need to confide in someone. She addresses Anna, her long-dead best friend, who was also Georg's first wife. Fully aware of the absurdity of speaking to someone who cannot hear her, Ellinor nevertheless finds it meaningful to divulge long-held secrets and burdens of her past: her mother's heartbreaking pride; Ellinor's courtship with her first husband; their seemingly charmed friendship with Anna and Georg; the disastrous ski trip that shattered the two couples' lives. Wry and mellow yet infused with subdued emotion, this philosophical, lyrical novel moves in parallel narrative threads while questioning the assumptions we cherish concerning identity and love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] compassionate and often edifying commentary on the elasticity of love, the strength it takes to move forward after a death, and the power of forgiveness." - Publishers Weekly

"Although the book is a tad sentimental, it possesses quiet grace." - Kirkus

This information about Often I Am Happy was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Jens Christian Grøndahl was born in 1959. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages, and he has received numerous literary prizes in Denmark and abroad. In France, he was made Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to French culture. His novels Silence in October, Lucca, An Altered Light, and Virginia have also been translated into English. He lives in Copenhagen with his wife and two daughters.

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