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Family Happiness: A Novel
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Family Happiness: A Novel

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  917 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
An engaging and enriching novel from a critically acclaimed author that tells the story of a happy wife and mother who one day finds herself embarked on a completely unexpected, sweet, and painful love affair.
Unknown Binding
Published January 1st 1982 by Alfred A. Knopf
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Sub_zero
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2017
¿Puede uno enamorarse de un libro? Si es así, no hay duda de que yo me he enamorado de Felicidad familiar. Se llame como se llame, el sentimiento que me despiertan los libros de Laurie Colwin son producto de algo más que una simple meritocracia. Seguramente habrá por ahí montones de obras que sobrepasen las cualidades literarias de este. Sin embargo, pocos alcanzan a trasmitir la misma autenticidad, la naturalidad y el profundo entendimiento de los lazos familiares que la autora demuestra poseer ...more
Mientras Leo
Hubiera estrangulado a la protagonista
Beth Bonini
I've read this book several times at different stages of my marriage, and there is no getting away from the fact that I overly identify with its protagonist Polly Solo-Miller Demarest. I've underlined many passages in this book, and as I reread at 50 it occurs to me that those marked passages are as revealing as a diary would be. Why do some women feel that they must always serve, and be as perfect as possible, in order to be loved? I don't think my own daughters will suffer from this affliction ...more
Sarah
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a disappointing story, about an old-money New Yorker who feels torn between her insufferable, snobbish family and her commitment-phobic artist-lover. I'm so angry, because I've really enjoyed everything else I've read by Laurie Colwin, and this book casts it all in a new light. Colwin writes about rich, well-educated, beautiful, introspective people who wear beautiful clothes and listen to classical music and drink coffee in bed and talk about love with their partners as rain taps against t ...more
David
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Creo que una de las cosas más sentidas que he tenido el placer de disfrutar en esta vida es el capítulo diez de 'Felicidad Familiar', que leí, dichosa la fortuna, con 'Zamba Para No Morir', de Hugo Díaz, de fondo.

A partir de la página 200 el libro se vuelve un derroche de vida, un reflejo en el espejo. Como decía Salinger, leer le permite a uno descubrir que no es la primera persona a quien la conducta humana le ha confundido, asustado e incluso asqueado.

Una de esas obras que te recuerdan que n
...more
Sandra
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Está tan bien escrita y es tan luminosa que no importa que los temas que trata nos sean ya muy familiares: la crisis de identidad, la infidelidad en la edad madura, la presión de pertenecer a una familia exigente...
Quizá las introspecciones de Polly, la protagonista, sean demasiado numerosas y algo repetitivas, pero el conjunto es tan brillante que merece la pena.
Silvia Sba
Le pongo un 4 de nota porque está bien escrito, pero la historia no me ha gustado nada. Como una película de sobremesa, con los ingredientes típicos: familia perfecta, adinerada y tradicional, guapos e infidelidades. Sin ninguna gracia.
Cyndy
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was published in the 1980s and it just seemed outdated. The language, attitudes. Plus it was difficult to warm up to any of the characters. Polly whined constantly about her husband--using his full name any time she referred to him. Although there were three Henry's in the book, I would have thought she could have found a better way to describe him that just as Henry Demarest. Should could have said "my Henry, or even "my husband". But to use his full name page after page seemed ridicul ...more
Drew
Feb 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her husband is a busy big-shot lawyer, her mother is an overbearing New York matron, her younger brother is an obnoxious doofus, her children are young enough to need much of her time, all leaving Polly to live a life of cheerful and successful servility. She's a paragon of perfection, yet still relegated to the supporting cast. That is until Lincoln the outre painter enters her life...

Wait a minute--there is neither a swooning woman in a bodice or a muscle man in an undone shirt on this book's
...more
Cecilia Romiti
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: extranjeros
Un libro sobre sentimientos desconocidos, autoexigencias, sobre un descubrimiento de una realidad que, en algún momento, nos hemos dibujado y nos hemos construído sin planteárnosla en serio, porque nos tocaba o porque nos "hicieron" para ello. Un realidad que se aceptaba sin cuestionar. Un evento que lo rompe todo y desata un sin fin de interrogantes a la protagonista. Increíble la capacidad de la autora para describir la enredadera sentimental y de relaciones familiares de la protagonista, que ...more
Kate
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have I mentioned that I love Laurie Colwin? The sad thing is that there is only one more of her novels I haven't read yet.

Colwin's writing elevates the domestic fiction genre to literature that smart women will love. Every detail of the setting comforted me while the characters and dialogue exposed conflicts that live in my own heart. Subtle, gorgeous, and ultimately surprising--this book is now one of my all time favorites.
Milly Cohen
Me pareció un libro pasado de época. Eso no significa que no lo disfruté. A veces.
Bryan
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only Laurie Colwin can write a book about someone in a happy marriage conducting a long-term affair and make your understand and care about everyone. I just love her writing.
Marti Booker
Really didn't like the writing style in this one. The characters never felt real or close-- it was like being told a story about someone by someone who barely knew them. Didn't work for me.
Marisolea
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Creo que la mayoría de las mujeres amas de casa, trabajen además fuera o no, madres de niños pequeños, se pueden sentir identificadas con Polly, la protagonista de este libro. Madre y esposa abnegada y casi perfecta, con una tribu también tendente a la.perfección, Polly no se da cuenta de lo descontenta que está con su vida hasta que se enamora de Lincoln, un pintor un tanto anacoreta que huye de compromisos estables pero que ofrece a Polly un amor distinto: la quiere no por lo que se espera de ...more
Abbie
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who knows me, or has read my reviews, knows that I am such a sucker for family stories.

So if I'm not completely entranced by one, you know it's pretty bad.

This book was just so freaking repetitive. There were only so many times I could read about Polly crying and telling Lincoln she felt guilty being with him. I mean really. Were I of age, it would have been a fun drinking game.

The characters were horrible -whiny and unsympathetic, dysfunctional and unlikable-in-the-bad-way. The family dy
...more
Laura K
I liked it. Seemed like it was written earlier then the 1980s though. A reminder that you never know what is going on in someone's private life no matter how good it looks from the outside. I wanted more resolution at the end though. I really liked Polly's friend Martha and wish she had a greater presence in the book. Quotes I liked: "Did people create families in order to keep themselves from wondering what the purpose of life was?"; "She felt as if she had woken up one morning after a profound ...more
Sera
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sera by: Picked up for challenge
Decent read about a woman who finds her sense of self through her relations with people outside of her family.

While reading this book, I thought that it was published in the 70s, because it seemed to fit the feminism movement that had evolved then. Then, I realized that the book was actually published in 1982. Once I learned that, then the book felt dated to me, because the story of the main character, Polly, seemed to be one that women may have not really identified with at that point in Americ
...more
Alejandro Orradre
No es fácil acercarse al adulterio y no caer en un juicio de valor. Los escritores y escritoras a menudo no pueden evitar trasladar al papel su visión del mundo, la sociedad y las relaciones personales, pues no deja de ser el filtro con el que observan todo lo que les rodea. Si además añadimos que la temática es controvertida en cuanto que su posible justificación puede parecer en un principio muy complicada, salir airoso de semejante entuerto puede llegar a parecer un milagro.

Lee la reseña comp
...more
Natàlia
Una novela centrada en la vida diaria de una mujer de clase media que, bajo una aparente sencillez tanto en la obra como en el estilo de la autora, aparece una intención profunda y sutil sobre el papel de la mujer en el matrimonio y la familia.
Reseña completa : http://perdida-entrelibross.blogspot....
Ariana
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro me hizo pensar en muchas cosas sobre mi vida. Me gustó mucho. La reseña completa aquí: https://goo.gl/A91R7k
Christi
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Laurie Colwin is one of my favorite authors. Makes me sad that she died so young! Her novels are deceptively simple. She always make you think twice about the choices we make in life as women. Read her writing about food too! Excellent!
Leticia Vila-Sanjuán
3.7
Un poco como con 'Tantos días felices', me ha entretenido, pero sin llegar a emocionarme.
Suzanne
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the sixth Colwin book (three story collections and three novels) and this one doesn't do it for me. At first I gave this book three stars to give it some credit for good writing. But I have downgraded it to two because I felt I wasted my time reading it. The problem was that it by the time I got to the middle, I was very bored. I was still bored with it at the end.

This started out as a short story and then Colwin expanded it into a full book. But there's not enough material for a full bo
...more
Christine Newfell
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I selected this book after reading one of Elin Hildebrand's summer stories. Elin noted she was reading Family Happiness. The story aptly captures in words- Polly's feelings; a difficult task. Mothers who feel they need to be everything to everyone will relate to Polly. Good read.
Lahierbaroja
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Colwin trata de una forma muy certera y sin caer en recursos tópicos, la infidelidad en el matrimonio, además de las expectativas de felicidad del que lo tiene todo y se ve atrapado bajo un mundo que no acaba de satisfacerle. El personaje muy bien definido de la protagonista, junto a un elenco de secundarios muy peculiares, conforman parte de los puntos fuertes de una de esas novelas para leerlas del tirón.

https://lahierbaroja.wordpress.com/20...
Humberto Pérez
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Polly, la protagonista, de clase media-alta, sin problemas económicos, a igual que toda su familia y entorno, se enfrenta a un dilema sobre su identidad y la relación con su familia.

Polly es el paradigma de la «esposa perfecta», pero tiene una aventura y durante toda la obra expresa una culpa por haber engañado a su marido, incluso cuando está con su amante, momentos en los cuales también expresa la alegría de haberse enamorado, pero con reservas impuestas por el sentimiento de culpa.

Aparecen re
...more
Thought Mantique
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Un estilo sencillo, que hace que sea una lectura fácil y rápida, más he de admitir que a veces resultaba demasiado repetitivo: la gran mayoría de los párrafos inician con el nombre de alguien, y constantemente esos nombres se repiten para hacer hincapié sobre quién se está hablando cuando es bastante obvio que no se ha cambiado de sujeto. También repite a menudo la mismas palabra en frases muy cercanas («No es que la desdicha amara la compañía, es que necesitaba la compañía: la compañía y orient ...more
Anne
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin is the story of a woman, Polly, who always does what is expected of her. She is the only daughter in a prominent family, who married the right guy, and had two nearly perfect children. She has a job, but always puts her husband's needs before her own. Until the day she finds herself swept up in an affair with a local artist. The book tracks Polly's confusion as she tries to figure out what it means to follow her own heart, and to figure out the right line to tow ...more
Pablo Fernandez Fernandez
Una novela de personaje.
Es una maravillosa lectura para los que no tenemos claro hasta qué punto tienen sentido los sentimientos de amor y de soledad, como dos emociones que (teóricamente) son antónimas pero que guardan una increíble relación. Algunos de los pensamientos de la protagonista son dignos de enmarcar, sus reflexiones sobre el sentido de tener una relación, una familia, una estabilidad... Se le puede criticar, y de hecho se hace, el aire de "preocupación burguesa" de toda la novela,
...more
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Laurie Colwin is the author of five novels: Happy All the Time, Family Happiness, Goodbye Without Leaving, Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object, and A Big Storm Knocked It Over; three collections of short stories: Passion and Affect, Another Marvelous Thing, and The Lone Pilgrim; and two collections of essays: Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. She died in 1992.
More about Laurie Colwin...
“La ansiedad, pensó, era como una bandada de pájaros posados en un cable telefónico. Cuando se acercaba gente echaban a volar y cuando la gente se alejaba volvían dando saltitos” 0 likes
“Polly había llorado tanto que se sentía deshidratada. El llanto juvenil es una cosa y el llanto adulto otra muy distinta. Las lágrimas de la juventud son limpiadoras, como las siestas o las duchas tonificantes. Una buena llorera hace que el joven que sufre sienta que se ha conseguido algo. Las lágrimas de la edad adulta dejan a la víctima seca y agotada. Dejan los ojos escocidos. Dejan a su paso un dolor bajo las costillas y en la frente.” 0 likes
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