'The book is equal parts heart-wrenching and joyful, and you won't be able to stop turning these pages!'
How to Build a Family out of Love and Spare PartsHeather Harpham
Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick 2018
An Amazon Best Memoir of the Month
One of Elle Magazine’s Best Books of 2017
Goodreads Best of the Month
Daily Beast, “Books I Can’t Live Without”
Good Housekeeping, Best New Books for Summer
Book Riot, 100 Must Read Books about Happiness
A page-turning, shirt-grabbing true story that follows a one-of-a-kind family required to make nearly unimaginable choices
Happiness starts out as a charming courtship between hopelessly attracted opposites: Heather, an out-going, theatre-performing California girl, and Brian, an intellectual New Yorker with an unwavering writing routine. But when Heather falls pregnant, their magical interlude abruptly ends—Brian loves her, only he doesn’t want kids. So Heather decides to have their baby alone.
Mere hours after Gracie’s arrival, Heather’s bliss is interrupted when a nurse wakes her, ‘Get dressed, your baby is in trouble.’ This is not how Heather had imagined motherhood. As concerns for her health grow, Brian and Heather begin a cautious return to each other. Happiness transforms heartbreak and parental fears into a lyrical meditation on love and happiness, in all their crooked configurations.
'Harpham...brings us along on her raw, real journey of healing — not just of her child but also of her marriage.'
'Harpham has a keen eye and a quirky turn of phrase.'
'Heather Harpham has managed to weave a deftly-told memoir on both a cruel twist of genetic fate, and the complexities of romantic love, with wit and grace.'
'An amazing story of love (almost) lost, then found.'
'A heartfelt exploration of mortality and life, this memoir also explores the complex pulls and pushes of human relationships, and the deep debt we owe to family, friends, and modern medicine. At heart, it is a sobering mediation on the lasting impermanence of...happiness.'
'Utterly gorgeous...heartbreaking...staggering... If you’re looking for a book to love, I recommend it... Happiness is told in riveting, plot-twisting fashion... But I’ll say that it’s also told with care and courage and humor, and it will deepen your understanding of not just life with a sick child, but life.'
'Absorbing... A beautifully-written, insightful tale.'
'Heather Harpham's moving memoir, Happiness is a page-turner.'
'Harpham immediately grabs for the heart, juxtaposing the roller-coaster reality of caring for a critically ill newborn alongside her exhilarating, romantic courtship with Brian.'
'Happiness touches on every woman's worst nightmares. An unplanned pregnancy. A reluctant partner. A baby with a life-threatening condition and an agonising moral dilemma. Could a second child save its older sibling? A beautifully written story of how a family is made and lives and loves together through the worst and best of times.'
'An at times achingly painful, ultimately feel-good book for those who cringe at mawkish sentimentality.'