Family Happiness (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
A heartfelt novel about a midlife crisis and a woman tired of beingtaken for granted—and a reminder that family, like happiness, can take many forms.
To the rest of the world, Polly Solo-Miller Demarest lives acharmed life. She has a beautiful home, a dashing lawyer husband, and two delightful children. But beneath this idyllic surface, the pressure of being the “perfect flower”of an illustrious family—and a stable, always-available wife, mother, and daughter—are getting to her. The spark has gone out of her marriage, and to her own surprise, she’s having an affair. What follows is at once cathartic and provoking, and both may be necessary states in order for Polly to become the kind of person she wants to be.
About the Author
Laurie Colwin is the author of five novels, Happy All the Time, Family Happiness, Goodbye Without Leaving, A Big Storm Knocked It Over, and Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object; three collections of short stories, Passion and Affect, The Lone Pilgrim, and Another Marvelous Thing; and two collections of essays, Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. Colwin died in 1992.
“Utterly delightful. . . .Sophisticated, funny, knowing,clear-eyed . . . and entirelyaffecting.” —The Washington Post
“Consistently amusing and ultimately surprising.” —Newsweek
“Colwin is a bard of burgeoning adulthood.” —Rachel Syme, The New Yorker
“The glittering, generous, delicious world of Laurie Colwin’s fiction is a gift and a lodestar. When writers speak of our favorites, our literary godmothers, her name invariably enters the conversation. . . . We need her voice, her heart, and her paean to joy now more than ever.” —Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of Inheritance
“If anyone wrote eloquently and magnificently about affairs of the heart, it was Laurie Colwin." —San Francisco Chronicle
“Laurie Colwin’s great subject was happiness—whether romantic, familial, domestic, or culinary—and she managed to write about it with both élan and emotional depth. . . . How wonderful it is that her books are still with us.” —The Christian Science Monitor
"Colwin had the power to make her readers believe in life’s possibilities. . . . Her books still have that power.” —NPR
"An infallible recipe for happiness: read as much Laurie Colwin as you can.” —Emma Straub, bestselling author of All Adults Here
“Colwin writes with such sunny skill, and such tireless enthusiasm. . . . One reads with fascination the steps by which lovers in one story after another stumble upon their forthright declarations.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review
"A writer whose rare gift it was to evoke contentment, satisfaction, and affection.” —The New Yorker
“I have loved Laurie Colwin’s work for forty-some years, all of it, every honest, deep, friendly, funny, heartbreaking, hopeful word.” —Anne Lamott, bestselling author of Almost Everything and Dusk, Night, Dawn
“Colwin wrings magic from ordinary lives.” —Entertainment Weekly
“To read Laurie Colwin, whether her wryly eloquent fiction or her richly detailed nonfiction, is to enter the sensibility of a singular human. Long before there were food bloggers and Bookstagrammers, Colwin understood that strong opinions and witty failures could appeal to readers of all ages and stages.” —Bethanne Patrick
“Family Happiness displays a richness of characterization reminiscent of nineteenth-century British novels.” —Los Angeles Times
“[Colwin’s] intricate worlds—full of people who lovingly revolve around one another, with occasional pit stops in their kitchens, dining rooms, and local coffee shops—have been a refuge from my own overcomplicated life more times than I can count.”—Melanie Rehak, Bookforum