Happy Now?: A Novel

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Apr 13, 2010 - Fiction - 272 pages
1 Review

HOW FAR WILL WE GO TO DENY THE DARKER SIDE OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS? HOW MUCH WILL WE RISK TO BE HAPPY?

After many lonely years and alarming Internet dates, Claire Kessler, an artist and self-proclaimed homebody, believed she had found the perfect man. Jay was earnest, romantic, and gainfully employed, and within a year they were married.

Less than two years later, Jay had killed himself.

On Valentine's Day.

Happy Now? follows Claire's chaotic and often tragicomic journey through the weeks that follow her husband's suicide. Nomie, Claire's pregnant younger sister, welcomes Claire into her guesthouse and abandons her own husband in solidarity. Claire's father turns into a concerned stalker, trailing her every movement. Encounters with well-meaning therapists go horribly awry, and Jay's abandoned cat goes on a hunger strike. All the while, Jay's suicide note lurks on the coffee table, waiting for Claire to gather the courage to read it. As she struggles to confront the truth about her marriage, Claire also struggles to negotiate life as a young widow—the well-intentioned remarks, the sympathy bouquets, and the terrifying prospect of dating (and loving) again.

With wit and compassion, Katherine Shonk explores both the possibilities and the limitations of human relationships. Happy Now? is an uncommonly honest portrait of love, loss, and letting go.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - read.to.live - LibraryThing

This was a very good read; I would like to read more from this author; I would even be interested in a sequel to this book. I appreciated how the author maintained tension even though the main action ... Read full review

HAPPY NOW?

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Numb-with-grief young widow struggles to make sense of her husband's Valentine's Day suicide.Believing herself to be in an imperfect but basically happy marriage, Claire Kessler is forced to rethink ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

CHAPTER 1
3
CHAPTER 2
16
CHAPTER 3
35
CHAPTER 4
61
CHAPTER 5
83
CHAPTER 6
104
CHAPTER 7
134
CHAPTER 8
156
CHAPTER 9
187
CHAPTER 10
209
CHAPTER 11
230
CHAPTER 12
247
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
263
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

KATHERINE SHONK is the author of The Red Passport, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Tin House. She works as an editor and writer for Harvard University and lives in Chicago with her husband.

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