Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Happened to Henry?” as Want to Read:
What Happened to Henry?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Happened to Henry?

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  9 reviews
What Happened to Henry is a funny, moving, wise, and powerful tale of a family's struggle to understand their own son-who is either crazy or blessed, not unlike the Cold War America in which they live.

Nine-year-old Lauren Cooper is devoted to her brother, Henry. She looks to him for strength, wisdom, and the cool levelheadedness that, she is realizing, she lacks. But whe
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 15th 2004 by Putnam Adult (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What Happened to Henry?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What Happened to Henry?

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Henry is not quite of this world. He holds the siblings together as they attempt to raise themselves. Distant father and a grieving mother give them no guidance. They all turn out OK. Realistic characterizations, strong story line.
Diego Navarro
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
“What Happened to Henry” is a novel by Sharon Pywell. This book is an adult type of book, it has themes of strong emotional connections and just adult themes over all, I would say that this is a mix between a mystery and love book, and love as in family love. The story begins with the introduction of a Catholic family; the Cooper’s. The protagonists; Henry, Lauren, and Winston are introduced. Henry being the oldest, then Lauren, then Winston. A strange occurrence happens, there new born sister d ...more
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Story Progression/development: 5
Characterization: 5
Conflict: 5
Conclusion: 5

Additional Thoughts:
This book was as close to fictional genius as it can get with an intense beginning and an ending that didn't leave you feeling like nothing was concluded.
The premise of the story is that Henry can inhabit the mind of a "habakushi" or survivor of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Asagao. Asagao is unaware of his presence in his mind and slowly Asagao permeates from a dream to reality, which creates the con
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit
I loved the idea of this book: a boy who also lives in the mind and soul of another man. I loved the characters: the three siblings struggling through the death of their baby sister; their mother, her depression, and crazy catholic religion, etc. I loved that the man whose mind Henry could overhear was a Japanese survivor of Hiroshima. I completely enjoyed the ongoing tension/question about mental disorder versus real connection between Henry and this man. The book and the writing were downright ...more
Aug 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is brilliant. Henry occupies the mind of a survivor of Hiroshima and therefore the minds of his siblings as well, as they try to take care of him. He is not worried about the details of life and often reassures them with zen-like sayings and sounds much wiser than his years. His brother and sister are often sparring and Henry is the bridge of calm in their relationship. Their are minor inconsistencies in this book. For example, how neatly tied up a character's life is in the end or how Wins ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
This book was interesting, but a bit odd. Henry is one of three surviving siblings. His parents lost an infant daughter to SIDS, which traumatizes the family. After receiving a severe electric shock, he forms a link to the lost spirit of a deceased Japanese man. Henry helps this wandering spirit to find his ultimate home, while simultaneously losing and finding his own. It was helpful to have read "Peony in Love" to understand the beliefs and view of the afterlife introduced by Henry's unique ex ...more
Sep 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting read about mental illness but I kept wondering if there was more to the story.
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Slow reading. I was fascinated with Ausiago and the concept of what Henry is really experiencing.
Patricia Connolly
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
That's the thing... It wasn't just Henry. It was his whole family. Challenging because of the complexity of mental illness, but warm and funny and evocative.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2016
Portia Moore
rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2007
rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2013
rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2012
rated it liked it
May 15, 2007
rated it it was ok
Feb 26, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Dec 12, 2008
rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2009
Mary Jordan
rated it liked it
Sep 06, 2014
rated it really liked it
May 18, 2014
rated it liked it
Mar 30, 2010
Lisa N
rated it liked it
Aug 02, 2010
Diana Masotto
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jan 17, 2010
rated it liked it
Oct 18, 2011
rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2018
rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2011
Bobbie Kostuk
rated it really liked it
Nov 24, 2017
Stephen Dardani
rated it it was ok
May 15, 2011
rated it it was ok
Jan 13, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »