The Sad Truth About Happiness

The Sad Truth About Happiness

Book - 2005
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When a magazine quiz predicts that 31-year-old Maggie will soon die, she decides she must seek her own happiness in her few remaining months, but things become complicated when she finds herself on the run with her sister's newborn baby.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c2005
ISBN: 9780002005944
0002005948
Characteristics: 278 p

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everydayathena
Dec 04, 2011

Overall, 'The Sad Truth About Happiness' is definitely a book worth reading. I was intrigued by the premise: protagonist Maggie (a thirty-something single woman) takes a magazine quiz - a quiz which promises to predict longevity. Maggie's negative response to the last question - 'Are you happy?' - completely alters the quiz result. In fact, the quiz predicts that she has only three months to live.
I felt a strong connection to Maggie as she ruminated over the elusive nature of happiness. I particularly enjoyed Giardini's writing style - so lush and poetic. At times, actually, her style was a little over-the-top: descriptions of mundane objects or events which went on for pages, and a rather in-your-face attempt to carry a religious motif through the novel (by the time the protagonist arrived in a town called L'Ascension, I felt a little battered by symbolism). The plot derailed when it took a most unexpected turn in the last third - for me, it never got back on track after that point.
Still, I shed a few tears while reading the last three paragraphs of the book - I think Maggie (or Giardini) did come to terms with the quality of happiness, and while it wasn't the answer I was hoping for, it certainly rang with authenticity. Well done.

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joyceallen06
Jul 30, 2012

One woman's story about life as a daughter and a grown woman. Her unique journey to make meaning.

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