Often I Am Happy: A Novel
Publisher: Hachette Book Group USA
Date: April 2017
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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.