Tuesday, September 19

The Promise of Happiness

On my travels this past weekend I was able to enjoy some solid reading time. Reading on the train is the way to go. No doubt.

I read "The Promise of Happiness" by Justin Cartwright. I bought it mostly because of the cover. It is always said that you can't judge a book by its cover...but...I'm not so sure about that. I have some contradictory evidence. This book could be exhibit A: great cover, great book. Anyways, I liked the cover and his name sounded vaguely familiar. I might have come across his name in an issue of Arena magazine. Who knows? Whatever the reason...I'm really glad I bought it. It was so good.

It was one of those books where you get attached to the characters within a chapter or two. In this case, it is a family going through a rough patch. (Truth be told this is something I know a bit about.) Such solid and complex characters. No one is a stereotype or just there to fill a role. Each member of the family has their own issues to work through individually AND as a fully functioning member of the family unit.

They all don't make the choices that you or I would make...but at least you can understand their choice. And as the title suggests, they all take their lead from their wounded and lost father, believing in the promise of a possible happiness.

A wonderful book and wonderfully understated writer. It is easy to recommend this to anyone who has a family. And especially to those people who think there is always a chance for a better future.

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