This Is Happiness
by Niall Williams
Pub Date 5 Sep 2019
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The most enchanting novel you’ll read this year, from the acclaimed author of Man Booker-longlisted History of the Rain
Change is coming to Faha, a small Irish parish unaltered in a thousand years. For one thing, the rain is stopping. Nobody remembers when it started; rain on the western seaboard is a condition of living. But now – just as Father Coffey proclaims the coming of the electricity – the rain clouds are lifting. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is idling in the unexpected sunshine when Christy makes his first entrance into Faha, bringing secrets for which he needs to atone. Though he can’t explain it, Noel knows right then: something has changed.
As the people of Faha anticipate the endlessly procrastinated advent of the electricity, and Noel navigates his own coming-of-age and his fallings in and out of love, Christy’s past gradually comes to light, casting a new glow on a small world.
Harking back to a simpler time, This Is Happiness is a tender portrait of a community – its idiosyncrasies and traditions, its paradoxes and kindnesses, its failures and triumphs – and a coming-of-age tale like no other. Luminous and lyrical, yet anchored by roots running deep into the earthy and everyday, it is about the power of stories: their invisible currents that run through all we do, writing and rewriting us, and the transforming light that they throw onto our world.
'A surge of language, beautiful and enchanting, a novel that weaves a love of literature into its own moving tale' Guardian, praise for History of the Rain
'Deeply allusive, infectiously hopeful… Somewhere between bildungsroman, epic and family saga, History of the Rain is an unashamedly unfashionable, lyrical paean to the pleasure of reading and to serendipity' Daily Telegraph, praise for History of the Rain
'A delicate and graceful love story that is also an exaltation of love itself... A luminously written, magical work of fiction' New York Times Book Review, praise for Four Letters of Love