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Happiness
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
A breathtaking novel from Orange Prize-shortlisted and Commonwealth Writers' Prize-winning author Aminatta Forna Waterloo Bridge, London. Two strangers collide. Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist, and Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes. From this chance encounter in the midst of the rush of a great city, numerous moments of connections span out and interweave, bringing disparate lives together. Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma and to check up on the daughter of friends, his 'niece', Ama, who hasn't called home in a while. It soon emerges that she has been swept up in an immigration crackdown and now her young son Tano is missing. When by chance Attila bumps into Jean again, she joins him in his search for Tano, mobilizing into action the network she has built up, mainly from the many West African immigrants working London's myriad streets, of volunteer fox-spotters: security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens. All unite to help and as the search continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds. In this delicate yet powerful novel of loves lost and new, of past griefs and of the hidden side of a multicultural metropolis, Aminatta Forna asks us to consider the values of the society we live in, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures and the true nature of happiness.
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Lesliereads
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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“The trouble with happiness, thought Attila, was that, perhaps because infants seemed such happy creatures, people were led to believe that happiness came with a mother‘s milk, happiness was man‘s state of nature, of which all else was a warping. The search to return to that state became unending. But they were mistaken, for what they desired so badly wasn‘t happiness but a state of prelapsarian innocence, the thing that babies possessed.”

EvieBee 😍😍😍All the hearts! ❤️❤️ 1y
Lesliereads @EvieBee ♥️❤️😍🥰 1y
24 likes2 comments
review
NovelNancyM
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

This is such a sweet book and interesting how two people with such different lives and professions are joined together. It goes to show that we often make assumptions about others when we are in relationships and we need to realize that it's often not about us. There are time shifts, flash backs and even interconnected characters from different times & places. I so enjoyed the complex characters of Jean and Atilla. The ending is so satisfying too!

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rmaclean4
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

It has taken me two months to finish this novel. I had trouble connecting with the characters in the first half. The structure of the the book alternating from present day to chapters about the past felt like it kept the characters at arms length. I found the last 100 pages gripping and flew through them. Certainly a slow character driven narrative with a beautiful ending. 3.5 🌟

14 likes1 stack add
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Lillie
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

Enjoyable novel about a man and woman who run into each on a bridge in London, one looking for his niece and great nephew and the other in pursuit of a fox. Their stories intermingle when they use the same network of people for their own purposes. This allows the reader to see a different side of London than one usually seen. Lovely book.
3.5 🌟

10 likes1 stack add
blurb
rmaclean4
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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A friend posted this on Instagram today. This feeling is so real for me on this Monday. It is getting harder and harder to motivate myself to excel at my job.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa True story! The hermit life! 3y
JoScho So true! 3y
Caroline2 So true! 💖 3y
22 likes3 comments
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bedandabook
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

This is a novel which will haunt you and stay with you, examining beautifully the interconnected nature of our lives and how we interact with the natural world around us. A gem of a book, to be treasured.

Suet624 💕💕💕 3y
bedandabook Isn‘t it lovely, @Suet624? A wonderful book! 3y
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Dolly
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

This was very good. Although not without a bit of unsettling controversy. It was a nice respite from so much violence, unrest, and meanness in books today. Well written.

Smirk is ready to be read to. #catsofLitsy
.

KristenDuck Your cat is so cute!! 3y
47 likes1 comment
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youneverarrived
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

A quiet, contemplative novel. I love a novel that evokes a strong mood and this one certainly does. It‘s multi layered and I think it could have done without some of the past sections but the bits about PTSD and trauma were brilliant. A great read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻sounds lovely, stacking 3y
youneverarrived @Cathythoughts thank you! I do think you‘ll like this one. 3y
Tamra I‘m looking forward to it! 3y
youneverarrived @Tamra let me know what you think of it! 3y
JennyM I‘ve had this one on my TBR for a while. I‘m quite intrigued by it. Glad you enjoyed it x 3y
66 likes2 stack adds5 comments
blurb
youneverarrived
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Just starting this one having a coffee in Waterstones 💕

Tamra This just happens to be a Kindle deal today that I picked up. 😁 I hope it‘s good - I‘m sticking up on vacay reads. 3y
andrew61 I really liked memory of love so look forward to seeing your comments. 3y
youneverarrived @Tamra it‘s very intriguing. I think it‘ll be a slow burn type of read. Look forward to your thoughts. 3y
youneverarrived @andrew61 not heard of that one. I‘ll let you know 😁 3y
65 likes2 stack adds4 comments
blurb
Dolly
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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This is really good, people!

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bedandabook
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Just came across this translation of the French for a train station concourse and thought it absolutely beautiful.

Suet624 Beautiful. 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I love train travel and this is so accurate and lovely. 3y
34 likes2 comments
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Dolly
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Captivating from the start. I know I‘m going to love this very popular book. Enjoying the beautiful day out of the sun as prescribed with some young ladies.

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myreadingdays
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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YES!!!!

3 likes1 stack add
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myreadingdays
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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I just discovered this new word which I‘m going to remind my husband of constantly
UXORIOUS :: doting upon, foolishly fond of, or affectionately submissive toward one‘s wife
What a great word!

review
Nebklvr
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

There were parts of this book that I loved. Most of the flashback sections could have been edited out. However, this Author has something important to say about the connections we make with other people and with nature and our relationship to life and death and the inevitable hardships contained within both.

43 likes1 stack add
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Nebklvr
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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blurb
cathygee
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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IRL book club this month's pick..I am trying to enjoy my lunch break but it feels like homework 😂 Tell me it gets better! 75 pages in...

Cind Seriously trying... 4y
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Tonton
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

So good and moving、 it will be on my best books read this year list. ‘Trauma = suffering = damage.‘ This he wrote in the middle of the paper and underneath: ‘Trauma = suffering ≠ damage.‘ And then: ‘Trauma = suffering = change. He sat back and reread the words. At the top of the paper he wrote: ‘HAPPINESS‘ and underlined it with two dark strokes, and underneath he wrote the words: ‘THE PARADOX‘.

LauraBeth Wow - I‘ve been on the fence with reading this one but you just moved it up to the top of my TBR! 4y
Redwritinghood @LauraBeth I recommend it too. It‘s a quietly great book. 4y
LauraBeth @Redwritinghood I love quiet books 😀 4y
48 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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Mitch
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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I love to walk the city....so this article added a very thoughtful dimension to that....

https://lithub.com/whose-streets-a-conversation-about-walking/

Mitch @fleeting I haven‘t. I‘ve seen it around though. Is it good? I really enjoyed 4y
fleeting For me, yes! It's in my top books. She talks about certain artists and their relationships with cities, and who has been in the depths of loneliness. City and solitude in the poetic way Laing writes. :) 4y
See All 6 Comments
Mitch @fleeting sounds good- adding it to the list for 2019. 🙏 4y
JamieArc Another great book about walking is the tagged book. It might sound dry, but it‘s not at all. 4y
Mitch @JamieArc yep..I enjoyed that one too. 4y
66 likes6 comments
blurb
Lindy
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Another great reading month. 😎

Andrew65 Brilliant! 🙌 4y
36 likes1 comment
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Lindy
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Homesickness was an adjustment disorder, that was the long and short of it.

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Lindy
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Jean chose a roasted vegetable baguette and asked the waiter what it had in it.
“Courgette, aubergine, capsicum, and comes with a rocket garnish.”
“Zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper and arugula on the side,” supplied Attila.

saresmoore Ha! 4y
DivineDiana Great choice! 4y
37 likes2 comments
review
Lindy
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

A complex life-affirming story that stitches slender threads into a gorgeous tapestry: a 19th c wolf hunt; 21st c coyote & fox hunts; war in Bosnia & Sierra Leone; a wildlife biologist; a Ghanaian psychiatrist specializing in PTSD; plus many other characters come to England from elsewhere. Set in present-day London, looping backwards in time to America, Africa and Europe. My takeaway: trauma = suffering, but trauma doesn‘t necessarily = damage.

Lindy Some similarities to 4y
andrew61 I will have to read this as The memory of love was a wonderful book and i loved At hawthorn time. 4y
Lindy @andrew61 😁👍 4y
Lindy @andrew61 There are entire chapters in italics in the edition that I read (those chapters set in the past). I hope that isn‘t a deterrent for you. 4y
andrew61 @Lindy no ill look out for it. Thanks 4y
53 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Lindy
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Attila leaned back in his chair. Neither man spoke until the Kenyan said: ‘You see how the people here do not look at us, they will not meet your eye.‘ He leaned forward and looked directly at Attila. ‘But it is not because we are black. No. It is because they are ashamed that now we have seen what they are.‘

(Internet photo)

37 likes1 stack add
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Lindy
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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How do we become human except in the face of adversity?

35 likes1 stack add
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Lindy
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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When the structures of Waterloo Bridge began to fail, London City Council had it demolished and replaced with a new bridge built by a task force of 25,000 women who were paid less than their male counterparts and written out of the opening ceremony of 1945.

(Internet photo; Monet‘s painting of the bridge.)

TrishB I would like to say how times have changed...... 4y
Lindy @TrishB Right. 😏 4y
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Lindy
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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“The wolfer drew up in front of the lighted farmhouse. He wrapped a wolf fur around his shoulders and placed a fur hat on his head, the kind of attention to detail that persuaded folks they were getting what they paid for.”

The opening pages of Happiness remind me of a picture book by William Gill. I will link to it in the comments.

31 likes1 comment
review
charl08
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

Lovely story about living in London today: finding communities and belonging, whether urban fox, parakeet or human.

Tonton I 4y
Tonton Sorry、 finger fumble:I meant to say on my tbr list! 4y
47 likes5 stack adds2 comments
blurb
JenP
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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This book I ordered just arrived and it smells like lavender. Like really strong lavender scent. 🤔

LeahBergen That‘s strange! 4y
JenP @LeahBergen I guess I should be thankful that it smells like lavender and not something else. 😂 (edited) 4y
BarbaraBB Gorgeous cover though! I hope it‘ll make the longlist, then I am allowed to buy it too 😉 4y
See All 8 Comments
JenP @BarbaraBB it didn‘t make the list 4y
BarbaraBB Did you do well with your predictions? 4y
JenP @BarbaraBB nope 😂 4y
BarbaraBB @JenP it is an impossible job I think 😉 4y
JenP @BarbaraBB I‘m usually happy if I get 2 right. Last year I got half right. This year I had 2 from my list make it and 2 more were on my extended list. The others hadn‘t even crossed my mind 4y
59 likes8 comments
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mr_annie
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

This book was a pure joy to read. ‘Happiness‘ is a sprawling, humbling tale of people who find themselves in London over the same two week period, each of whom manages to heal the others in ways they may never know. These people form the best kind of community even though (or perhaps because) none of them are what remain voters might consider ‘Brits‘. They show resilience, fortitude, grace and, above all else, love towards their fellow creatures.

8 likes3 stack adds
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mr_annie
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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A society went numb ... as much as from being battered by fate as from never being touched. The untouched, who were raised under glass, who had never felt the rain or the wind, had never been caught in a storm, or run from the thunder and lightning, could not bear to be reminded of their own mortality.

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ShariEstaLeando
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

As profound a pair of books as one could ever hope to read. “Happiness” is fiction, and explores the idea of trauma becoming transformational. “The Body Keeps the Score” is Non-fiction, and explores ramifications and methods of healing.

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Redwritinghood
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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Pickpick

I was on the fence about this book until the ending, but now I‘m leaning more towards a pick. This is a gentle, subtle story about human suffering and resilience. There are some beautiful passages, but I sometimes struggled to see how the parts of the story fit together. Overall, though, this is a moving story about the acceptance of impermanence and the resilience that leads us and the natural world to survive. 3.5⭐️ Available on Hoopla.

72 likes2 stack adds
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Redwritinghood
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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“The reckless open their arms and topple into love, as do dreamers, who fly in their dreams without fear or danger. Those who know that all love must end in loss do not fall but rather cross slowly from the not knowing into the knowing.”

This book has some beautiful passages, but I‘ve found it a bit slow going at times. Hoping to finish it today.

readordierachel That's lovely 4y
RaimeyGallant So lovely. 4y
BookNerd9906 ❤️❤️❤️ 4y
53 likes3 comments
blurb
laurieluna
Happiness | Aminatta Forna
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New ARC! Won my first Goodreads giveaway in almost 3 months (I used to win at least 1 a month but the changes have seriously affected them!) This is due out on April 5th. Added to the ever growing tbr...😬

Mitch I‘ve never been lucky in the Goodreads Giveaways! What am I doing wrong!😂 5y
laurieluna @Mitch I enter any that take my fancy! Not sure how or why I win. Think I've won about 10? Since July. I'd say I'm lucky, but I get bad luck so often too. Maybe it's just life trying to balance the scales and putting too much on one side at a time. 😂 5y
Mitch I‘ll keep persevering! 5y
87 likes3 comments