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The Happiness Jar

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  90 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Rachel Hudson succumbs to cystic fibrosis at age twenty-seven, intentionally leaving behind secrets that push each of her remaining family to question what it is they want from life, and from each other.

Her father Brian, a Vietnam veteran struggling with the long-term effects of the war, has been missing ever since he walked out on Beth and their two children in the dead
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 2013 by Storytorch Press
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Apr 01, 2015 Rocky rated it it was amazing
This book really took my breath away. It was written with a swift and careful handling of powerful human emotions, and at times, I found myself wiping a tear - particular at the end. The characters seemed to lift off the page - they were real, complex and very Australian - but not cliched, just realistic. There are a few themes that the novel touches on, and for want of not ruining the story for anyone (that would be a spoiler!) the novel makes a powerful statement on some of the issues that ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Ruki rated it it was ok
I loved the concept and how the story progressed, and at times there were brilliant moments. The descriptions of the outback and of India were colourful. Overall though I felt the writing was at times clumsy, amateurish and as if written by someone who was struggling to find the right words. I think this story could have really soared in the hands of a more skilful writer. Readable but not great.
Deborah Barnett
Nov 17, 2013 Deborah Barnett rated it really liked it
A lovely truthful story about real people. Life isn't easy but it can be measured with happiness one moment at a time. It had me in tears on more than one occasion and I will surely be recommending it. Thank you Samantha Tidy.
Jennifer Rolfe
Dec 05, 2016 Jennifer Rolfe rated it liked it
This book had moments of genius, moments when it succumbed to 'clunky' writing and other moments when it flowed nicely. I loved the idea of leaving a legacy like Rachael did but my major criticism came from the ending and the handling of Brian's story. It was too abrupt as if the writer had run out of exam time.
Rosemary Grant
Purchased a Jar :-)
Sarah Fuller
Oct 11, 2016 Sarah Fuller rated it liked it
3.5 Was really getting into the complexity of family relationships and heading for a 4, then suddenly it ended in a nice, but too tidy, way.
Feb 15, 2015 Harry007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary
Wow, this is hopeless storytelling. It just didn't do anything for me, and there comes a point when reading this book that you become desperately preoccupied with wanting to put it down for good, saving your sanity by finding something with genuine entertainment value. I was bored out of my mind, frustrated by the overwritten prose and a story that just wouldn't kick in and get interesting. There are two characters: Beth, a churchgoing single mother, and her son Matt, a labourer. They are ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Sue rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book, hard. The main idea of it really tickled my fancy. Rachel Hudson dies of cystic fibrosis at 27. What she leaves behind in her will, from the very small estate she accumulated over her small collection of working years, is money transferred into instructions for her mother, Beth, and her brother, Matthew. Rachel was a spirited type, the antithesis of her anxious mum, who uses her faith to hide from life, and her disconnected brother, who hasn't found his place.

Feb 23, 2014 Celena rated it liked it
This novel skims over the "dying from illness" premise and therein lies its draw card. It focuses on the life of Rachel Hudson and the legacy left behind for her mother Beth and brother Matt. The story is good; the most compelling parts for me were the descriptions of Broome and the Indigenous people. I feel this book suffers from sweet promises and occasional deliveries. It flowed and then sputtered like starting an old car engine. Sometimes the writer had subtly and then it was carelessly ...more
Jul 18, 2015 Bookilicious rated it it was amazing
FABULOUS read. I really enjoyed curling up with this one. Took me to beautifully described faraway places, and my heart also traveled through so many emotions. Can't want for the author to write another.
Helensvale Library
Oct 25, 2013 Helensvale Library rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kate
The way it was written was beautiful and very descriptive. I loved reading about the Aboriginal people and their way of life. I could relate in many ways to the families lives that changed forever after the Father came back from Vietnam.
Lis Norman
Oct 02, 2013 Lis Norman rated it it was amazing
This book had me from page one. Beautifully written and very thought provoking... From exotic, colorful and dirty India to the harsh yet inspiring outback of our wonderful country, this book had me captured... Loved, loved, loved it!!!!
Sep 10, 2016 Jacq rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful novel, just a lovely, bitter-sweet story.
Written to draw you in, draw you out and question the now.
Intriguing and delightful.
Erica Mcbeath
Aug 05, 2014 Erica Mcbeath rated it it was amazing
It's an inspiring and moving tale of bringing family back to life and love through the insight of a terminally ill young woman. I will create my own happiness jar for sure
Jun 29, 2016 Magoo rated it liked it
Parts really work in this book. Amazingly so. Others not. Clunky and cliched. It's a thoughtful read though.
Katie Louise
Aug 26, 2014 Katie Louise rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautiful book.... I won't say much more other than it made me want to make my own Happiness Jar!!

Excellent book, beautifully written story :) Love it!!
Amanda rated it really liked it
May 20, 2014
Stephanie rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2014
Kelly rated it it was ok
Oct 28, 2014
Fiona Carnie
Fiona Carnie rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2015
Catherine Arbery
Catherine Arbery rated it liked it
Dec 18, 2015
Catherine Lee
Sep 12, 2015 Catherine Lee rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. A very easy read.
Julie Hewett
Julie Hewett rated it liked it
Jun 04, 2014
Katherine rated it it was ok
Sep 07, 2016
Sarah rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2014
Donna rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2015
Astrid rated it really liked it
Dec 22, 2014
Sally Mcconville
Sally Mcconville rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2016
Jo Marshall
Jo Marshall rated it liked it
Sep 13, 2014
RiverinaRegional Library
RiverinaRegional Library rated it really liked it
Nov 02, 2014
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