This Is Happiness

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Bloomsbury USA, Dec 3, 2019 - Fiction - 400 pages


A profound and enchanting new novel from Booker Prize-longlisted author Niall Williams about the loves of our lives and the joys of reminiscing.

You don’t see rain stop, but you sense it. You sense something has changed in the frequency you’ve been living and you hear the quietness you thought was silence get quieter still, and you raise your head so your eyes can make sense of what your ears have already told you, which at first is only: something has changed.

The rain is stopping. Nobody in the small, forgotten village of Faha remembers when it started; rain on the western seaboard was a condition of living. Now--just as Father Coffey proclaims the coming of electricity--it is stopping. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is standing outside his grandparents’ house shortly after the rain has stopped when he encounters Christy for the first time. Though he can’t explain it, Noel knows right then: something has changed.

This is the story of all that was to follow: Christy's long-lost love and why he had come to Faha, Noel’s own experiences falling in and out of love, and the endlessly postponed arrival of electricity--a development that, once complete, would leave behind a world that had not changed for centuries.

Niall Williams’ latest novel is an intricately observed portrait of a community, its idiosyncrasies and its traditions, its paradoxes and its inanities, its failures and its triumphs. Luminous and otherworldly, and yet anchored with deep-running roots into the earthy and the everyday, This Is Happiness is about stories as the very stuff of life: the ways they make the texture and matter of our world, and the ways they write and rewrite us.

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User Review  - maryreinert - LibraryThing

Told by an aged narrator looking back on his youth, this is what I would call a well-written "sweet" book. Noah "Noe" Crowe left the seminary after a crisis of faith but comes to live with his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kimkimkim - LibraryThing

I loved this book: all the words; all the images; the ageless allure of the coast of Kerry; approaching the matter the Fahean way, by coming at the thing the long way round; the day the rain started; the day the rain stopped, eccentricity being the norm. I LOVED THIS BOOK. “O now!” Read full review

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About the author (2019)

Niall Williams was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of nine novels including History of the Rain and Four Letters of Love, for which he has recently completed the screenplay. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, Dunkirk) will star and Kevin Loader (The Death of Stalin, Nowhere Boy) will produce. He lives in Kiltumper in County Clare.

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