“This is Happiness,” is a humorous “coming of age” story, a nod to Ireland. The story takes place during the late 1950’s in the small rural village of Faha, Ireland.
The village is located on the west coast where it rains daily and life is much simpler. The people of Faha are proud of their resistance to anything modern but things are changing for Faha. The telephone and electricity are coming to the village.
The story is narrated by Faha resident Noel Crow, a 78-year-old. Crow came to live in Faha at age 17 with his grandparents, after previously residing with them in Dublin. Crow has left the seminary and is questioning his faith. When a lodger named Christy, who is working for the electric company, comes to stay at his grandparent’s house Crow learns much about love and forgiveness.
This lyrically written novel is difficult to read at times. I often had to go back and reread sentences. The novel is slow in its development just like the village of Faha where nothing can be rushed. The author slows the reader down to match the pace of the village. This was hard for me because I like to read for an extended period of time and it was impossible with this book, you just had to put it down and walk away.
“This is Happiness,” is a reflection focused on Ireland, a country of people known for telling stories full of love, forgiveness, triumphs and failures. It is an ode to family and community.