Susan's Reviews > The Promise of Happiness

The Promise of Happiness by Justin Cartwright
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's review
Aug 03, 2009

really liked it
Read in July, 2009

I just love it when I find a great new (to me) writer. Justin Cartwright's prose is eloquent, his plotting like following a familiar road map to unexpected places, and his characterizations well contrived.

The story bends around the central character of Juju Judd, convicted felon, beloved daughter, sister, lover. Her single act of mis-guided love has diverted the lives of her father and mother, brother and sister. But not entirely. Each one has managed to make questionable decisions all on his or her own; the fact of Juju's more egregious mistake seems always to overshadow their own foibles, casting her into the role of sin-eater.

Best of all is the very Englishness of it. In no small way Cartwright has taken a laser to the very ethos of being English. English sensibilities and standards are giving way to the 21st century.
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