5 of 5
Happiness: A Memoir: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
320 pages; Henry Holt and Co.
Heather and Brian are an unlikely couple. Heather is a frenetic and disorganized "actor-teacher." Brian is as dependable as the hands of a clock. When their baby daughter, Gracie, is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the two must navigate her needs and their own differences. Adding to this, just are they are "settling into an understanding that a second child was out of the question and beyond [their] limited powers," Harpham finds herself staring at a positive pregnancy test. There is no way for the family to know, of course, that this new son will be the key to saving Gracie's life and their own. Writes Harpham, "I know other parents in this hospital, on this ward, in this room ... have tried to lash their child, psychically to their own body with the twine of love, righteous anger, magical thinking, with anything, everything, they had." Harpham does all this and more, bringing us along on her raw, real journey of healing—not just of her child but also of her marriage.
— Kelly McMasters