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Double Happiness

3.16  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Best-selling and widely acclaimed author Mary-Beth Hughes, "a writer of dexterity and imagination" (The New York Times Book Review), delivers a seductive, deeply human, and sophisticated story collection about the universal need to be loved and the complicated imperfections that jeopardize the ties that bind us.
The stories in Double Happiness are extraordinary portrayals
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ebook, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (first published January 6th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Cynthia
Jul 08, 2010 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Hughes' stories I felt like I was eating a thick, juicy steak after days of too many salads. There is something Heminwayesque about Hughes' writing. The sentences are short. They contain few high falutin words. As I read I felt I was skimming on the top of the abrupt sentences then as meanings began to open up I sank into the meat of the words. Emotionally it felt like ok let's move along folks, there's nothing to see here then red lights are burning your eyes, the blue lights come on to ...more
Tara
Mar 12, 2012 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the first couple of stories, then the rest were hard to read, meaning I found her prose difficult to follow. The use of no quotation marks is something I've employed as well, but you have to be very careful with this device. Hughes uses it throughout, and it can get very confusing as to who is saying what. There were flashes of wonderful passages, but as a whole, I found myself skimming to the end. I would check out her novel, however.
Stephanie Holcomb
I read most of this. That counts right? Despite some beautiful language ("she laughed three notes like a doorbell ") I found myself confused, if not bored, by some of the stories. Some were better, easier to follow, but then would just...end. Some of the storylines would go here and there, bringing new people and when I didn't know the main ones, and it was hard to picture a lot of the stories in my head. For me, they just didn't flow. I read all the stories except for three, the last I didn't e ...more
Betsy
Jul 22, 2010 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Betsy by: can't remember
These are short stories but each packed a punch. Most are about the dynamics between people - lovers, siblings, parents/kids - but they're very intricately plotted, going forward and backward in time, and sometimes hard to follow but most were really interesting. They're the kind of stories where once you finish one - or even midway through - you feel the need to flip back to the beginning and revisit what transpired before you got from there to here.
Lisa Lawless
The spare on details with punches of flashback or -forward shock writing style started feeling formulaic after the first couple of stories. I was sure it was just going to get worse. Then, the last story in the book, the one for which the book is named, changed my mind. The style was meant for that story.
Allyson
Aug 16, 2015 Allyson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not like these stories. She seems a talented writer but while she covered dark themes, her characters were nasty and strange and the author had no ability to sweeten their edges just enough to soften them. Nothing like Alice Munro or Lorrie Moore sadly who deal with poignant and devastating details.
Jenn Stevens
yawn. It's not that the writing isn't good, they're all good. but I've been reading a lot of short story/literary fiction books lately and they all feel and sound the same. I get tired of the subtle "men lead lives of quiet desperation" theme that seems to run throughout every story I read.
Dawn
May 04, 2011 Dawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dawn by: New York Times Notable Books of 2010
I couldn't finish this book of short stories. I didn't have a single emotional connection to any of the characters in the first several stories. The writing is sparse and cold, but hey, the New Yorker loves it so what do I know.
Sarahc Caflisch
Dec 26, 2010 Sarahc Caflisch marked it as never-finished  ·  review of another edition
I really really liked some of the stories, but found some to be too boring to hold my attention right now. Please keep in mind that this may be just about me and my current attention-span and not in anyway about the stories.
Terise
Aug 07, 2010 Terise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some well written short stories! An undertone of sadness in the first two, where I am. Nevertheless, a view into life.
Catherine Woodman
very poignant well written short stories
Sue Russell
I would give some of the individual stories 5 stars but not the book as a whole. A more honest rating would be about 3.5.
Natalie
Oct 07, 2012 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found these stories to be confusing. I wanted more... Details, information, clarity. The only story I enjoyed was the last.
Lexi
May 06, 2011 Lexi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved some of the stories, others were really just ok. A mix of 2 and 4 stars throughout....
Martha
Jun 19, 2010 Martha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Splendid stories. Hughes is a very fine writer.
Wan Ni
Feb 20, 2011 Wan Ni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, 2011
Some of the stories just aren't very captivating. Consequently I have to skip them. I expected to be emotionally moved but the blurb sets up more expectation that the book can offer.
Shelley
read each story a couple times - felt I had missed something the first go round. very elegant style.
Rita
Rita rated it did not like it
May 09, 2012
Chelsie Bryant
Chelsie Bryant rated it liked it
Mar 01, 2012
Dallas
Dallas rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2010
Adrienne
Adrienne rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2011
Erin Malone
Erin Malone rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2010
Kim DeNero
Kim DeNero rated it it was ok
Oct 06, 2010
Bonne
Bonne rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2010
Pamela
Pamela rated it really liked it
May 19, 2016
Marlene
Marlene rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2011
Trish
Trish rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2012
B
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Sep 20, 2012
Jason Patenaude
Jason Patenaude rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2011
Laurie Adameak
Laurie Adameak rated it it was ok
Apr 28, 2013
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