The Promise of Happiness

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2006 - Fiction - 308 pages
24 Reviews
A powerful elegy to the intimacies and idiocies of family, The Promise of Happiness tells the story of an apparently ordinary family on the cusp of an extraordinary moment: the return of the family's prodigal daughter, Juliet. Her release from an upstate New York prison throws the Judds, formerly of London but now scattered, back together.

For her father, Juliet's conviction for a theft she may not have committed had proven the disintegration of a dying society. For her mother, it is a source not only of resentment, but bafflement. And for all of the Judds, it is a moment of both intense joy and confusion.

As Justin Cartwright's novel opens, Juliet's parents await her release and return to England. Charlie, their capable and successful son, has been charged with collecting her and softening her reentry into the world, his own life unsettled meanwhile by his glamorous girlfriend's pregnancy and his ambivalence towards it. Sophie, the youngest and most rebellious sibling, is in the midst of getting her chaotic life (mostly) under control. And Juliet herself is wounded, the perfect daughter made scapegoat for a victimless crime.

With searching perception and gentle humor, Justin Cartwright gradually reveals the inner struggles of the five disparate Judds as they grapple with their conflicting feelings for each other and the moral dilemmas that beset them, bringing them finally together in what is ultimately a celebration of the layers and universal oddness of the love of a family.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
5
3 stars
13
2 stars
2
1 star
2

Review: The Promise of Happiness

User Review  - Jay Phillips - Goodreads

This book was loaned to me by a friend, I think she never finished reading it, and I can see why. The Promise of Happiness should be re-named the Promise of dreariness. It slowly introduces us to a ... Read full review

Review: The Promise of Happiness

User Review  - Kenny Taylor - Goodreads

The story of the Judd family from the release of daughter Juliet from prison, a multiperspective novel of the impact her sentencing (for art theft) had on a very middle class family. The characters ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
1
CHAPTER ONE
3
CHAPTER TWO
21
CHAPTER THREE
32
CHAPTER FOUR
43
CHAPTER FIVE
55
CHAPTER SIX
67
CHAPTER SEVEN
78
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
181
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
191
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
202
CHAPTER NINETEEN
211
CHAPTER TWENTY
216
CHAPTER TWENTYONE
225
CHAPTER TWENTYTWO
236
CHAPTER TWENTYTHREE
243

CHAPTER EIGHT
89
CHAPTER NINE
102
CHAPTER TEN
115
CHAPTER ELEVEN
127
CHAPTER TWELVE
139
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
151
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
161
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
172
CHAPTER TWENTYFOUR
254
CHAPTER TWENTYFIVE
261
CHAPTER TWENTYSIX
268
CHAPTER TWENTYSEVEN
277
CHAPTER TWENTYEIGHT
285
CHAPTER TWENTYNINE
292
CHAPTER THIRTY
303
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Justin Cartwright has won the Whitbread Prize, for which he has been shortlisted five times; he has also been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the South African M-Net Prize, and the CNA Prize. This is his eighth novel and the third he has published in the U.S. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information