Saturday, February 21, 2009
Happy All The Time by Laurie Colwin
11. Happy All The Time
by Laurie Colwin
paperback, 212 pages
Happy All The Time could be a primer on love. Each character and each relationship is unique and filled with love. Real love.
There are two main couples: Holly and Guido, and Misty and Vincent. The men are not only distant relatives, but also long-time friends. So, along with reading about romantic love, we read about the love between friends. And then there are the family members who show up and give us a glimpse of the love in their lives.
It is an extraordinary book, the likes of which I have never read before. The people are all interesting and we feel warmly toward them. No villains. No violence. Just a few people going about their lives in 1970s New York City, looking for love but not "in all the wrong places." Love blossoms at work, while walking outside, while visiting relations.
Laurie Colwin lets her characters be themselves:
I don't work. I'm lazy. I don't do anything very important. I don't even know how intelligent I am. I just live day to day enjoying myself.
Whew, I don't know anyone in fiction or real life who would dare to say such a thing. We are "supposed" to be productive, high-powered, focused, and so on. I found the character Holly a breath of fresh air in a world full of driven people. And no one judges her. People accept one another, even when they don't completely understand why a person behaves in a certain way. At one point Vincent says,
We're all together. We're family and we're friends. I think that's the best thing in the world.
And isn't that the truth. We so need to remember this every moment of our days. If we need a reminder of the sweetness life can bring, Happy All The Time can provide it for us.
For another wonderful review, please visit Owls Feathers.