„Щастието: Изкривеният малък път към полу-някога“ от Хедър Харфам

Heather Harpham is a writer, teacher and theatre artist whose fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in a number of magazines in the UK. Her memoir, “Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After”, came out in 2017 and was selected for Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers series, as well as Indie Next.

“Happiness—slippery, mobile, sneaky, and spry—enters the most unlikely rooms, unbidden. It can sneak up on you nearly anywhere and likewise wisp away.”

“Happiness” begins with a light relationship between attracted opposites: Heather, a California girl, and Brian, an intellectual, writer, kind and funny, but reluctant to leave his Upper West Side studio. The magic ends quickly when Heather realizes she’s pregnant, and Brian is sure he loves her, but he doesn’t want children. Heather returns to California to give birth to their daughter alone, supported by family and friends. And here begins the even bigger problem! Just hours after Gracie’s arrival, Heather’s peace and happiness are interrupted when a nurse wakes her up with the words, “Get dressed, your baby is in trouble.”

Heather did not imagine the new motherhood – lonely, heartbroken, with a baby that smelled of “sliced apples and salted pretzels,” but could be dangerously ill (and who would have imagined such a life). Brian reappears when Gracie’s condition worsens and he and Heather must decide what they are up to ensure that their girl sees adulthood.

„Щастието: Изкривеният малък път към полу-някога“ от Хедър Харфам

The easy way in which Harpham manages to recreate a situation that is otherwise capable of tearing everyone’s heart, manages to transport you into the action of the book and you feel like part of the plot, and then you wonder how “strong” you are and would you be able to withstand the pressure? And if you manage to endure, what gives you confidence that you will be able to make the right decisions to save your child, and besides him and yourself and your family? Wondering if you’ve ever made the right decision at all, and if the consequences you’ve been through aren’t really the hard way? Buuut … no one and nothing can answer these questions, so you hope to finally get that happy ending that you fought so hard for in every aspect of your life, you hope to save your child (as in the story of Heather Harpham). And while I can’t even imagine what people are going through in trying to save their own children from the worst, Heather Harpham has managed, through her story, to leave me pensive and resentful that these small and innocent creatures must struggle with diseases so severe as to live and be a part of the world.

Life is strange and indescribable in search of “Happiness” – both beautiful and joyful in one moment, and difficult and difficult in the next. But if you get to Happiness … it’s all you’ve ever dreamed of (or at least I hope so).

“I hope what she hears are directions for happiness; the happiness blueprint. But I don’t think there is one. We find happiness, if we find it at all, on accident. We trip over it on our own way somewhere else. It’s woven out of the oddest circumstances.”

The memoir is also part of the selected for the books read in the Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club in April 2018, for which Reese Witherspoon herself shared the following intriguing words: 

“Happiness by Heather Harpham is a beautiful memoir that follows Heather’s story as she gives birth to a baby girl, Gracie, whose health – and life – are at stake. Heather reconnects with Gracie’s father as their daughter fights for her life, and the harrowing events that follow will have you up all night, reading to find out what happens next. There’s Heartbreak, joy, and lots of love – i won’t give it away, but trust me: Have your tissues ready. I really loved this memoir, and I know you will too!” 

And she is right, you definitely will love this book. 

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