What does it take to be happy? How happy is happy enough? And what does “happy” mean, anyway? So asks Sally Farber–wife, mother, daughter, friend, working woman, and lover–in this wise and funny novel about a woman’s search for happiness in some of the right, and a few of the wrong, places.
Summer in the city looms long for Sally Farber when she sends her two daughters off to camp for the first time. Suddenly freed of her usual patterns in a city that becomes a grown-up’s playground,, she embarks on a journey unlike any she’s ever had–filled with guilty pleasures and guilty pains.
Caught between the past (cleaning out her childhood apartment as her demanding mother offers edicts from South Carolina) and the future (facing her first semi-empty nest), Sally finds herself unexpectedly involved with a powerful, unpredictable man.
And as she researches a book whose very topic is happiness, she must weigh the relative merits of prescriptions for its attainment offered by Aristotle and the Dalai Lama, Freud and Charles Schulz, scented candles and Zoloft, her mother and her best friend. The answer comes, in the end, from a surprising discovery, in this rich and original novel about how we can find, and ultimately embrace, both happiness and love.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Whatever Makes You Happy|
|Release Date: 05-31-2005|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Whatever Makes You...|
Whatever Makes You Happy
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
—Old children’s song When I was ten years old, my friends and I would sneak out at night and meet in our building’s service courtyard to play spy games and exchange secrets. The courtyard was forbidden: it was dangerous; it was ominous. Purple shadows draped its brick walls like pieces of cast-off clothing. It was where the building sorted its trash and where God only knew what dangers lurked. It scared me into a hollow, cold silence, but I went anyway because I was in love with Michael Farber. He lived two floors below me, and I would have eagerly followed him into the heartless depths of a raging fire.
One night, near the dumpster, Michael found a blue plastic gem, a dime-sized circle with facets, like the kind that came in the gum-ball machines at the front of Woolworth’s and Lamston’s.
“A sapphire!” whispered Julian Becker, who lived three floors above me and was not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
“No, it’s fake. It’s only plastic,” I told him.
“You’re such a dweeb,” Michael said, with a certainty that Julian made no effort to contradict.
Julian was the extra boy, and Michael was the one I adored, the one who made me willing to brave my fears and the purple shadows.
“What are you going to do with it?” Michael asked me, putting it in my hand.
“Me?” I asked, flustered.
“You,” he said.
“You’re giving it to me?” I said.
“You could make it into a necklace.”