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Mostly Happy

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  220 ratings  ·  29 reviews
*Winner 2010 White Pine Award

*Shortlisted for three 2008 Saskatchewan Book Awards: Fiction, First Book, and City of Saskatoon

Caught in the tight space between love and fear, Bean gallops through her early life picking up shiny bits of beauty along the way and tucking them into a red Samsonite suitcase. This suitcase, a dominant metaphor in the novel, becomes Bean's touchst
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 2008 by Thistledown Press
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  220 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Tiffany Wen
Oct 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Book review-
Review by - Tiffany Wen
The novel < Mostly Happy> is absolutely telling an inspiring story. The story is about the protagonist – Bean Fallwell’s life from her conception all the way to almost thirty years after. She has been through so many sorrowful and challenging situations that we can barely imagine. But finally she decides to find the real life that she wants. She never stop find the true happiness of her life, no matter how tough life is.

Bean’s family was a mess, in her word
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Ric DeMeulles
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You'd think a book that depicts a little girl hiding under a table while her mother is being beaten would be, well, dark, dreary and ponderous. Mostly Happy is not that type of book. It moves swiftly from scene to scene, showing what life looks like through the eyes of a hopeful, resilient little girl with a great capacity for wonder and love. I found Bean's--the little girl's--capacity for acceptance and love to be heatbreakingly beautiful. And it reminded me of how resilient children are.

Here'
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Darlene
Oct 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Mostly Happy is Pam Bustin's first novel and in my opinion a very good one. She's a Canadian author and I do love it when a good Canadian author comes along.


This novel centers around Bean-yes Bean is her birth name-and her mom Prissy and their very dysfunctional home life. Bean never really has a chance for a normal childhood as hers is messed up from the beginning. You see, Bean's mom Prissy, has a penchant for abusive men. After Bean's father leaves and she is growing up, Prissy has different
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Marilyn
Jun 06, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: fiction
This is on my "To Read" list after winning the Ontario Library Association's White Pine Award (Grades 9 - 12) for 2010.
Caterina
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
1. I NEED TO REREAD THIS SO I CAN A REVIEW. THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE BOOKS AND INTRODUCTION TO YA CONTEMPORARY.
Glenda Samuelson
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My friend Pam has written a fantastic book. Read it!
Janet
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved it.
Sydney
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A definite must-read from a talented Saskatchewan writer.
Carlo Gallina
You already know I loved your book, Pam!!! :)
Rebecca
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this in a day, I couldn't put it down. From start to finish I was completely impressed.
Vicky Cuddy
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good. But sad at same time. It was cool to relate to where the places were as they were close to home. At same time, reminded me of a little girl I once knew.
Definitely worth the read! First book? Wow!
Scarlet
Mar 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Mostly Happy:
Review By: Scarlet Chen

The Novel “Mostly Happy” by Pam Bustin is a story about finding true happiness amidst the challenges and the obstacles of life. The author writes an inspiring story of hope and and redemption to show readers there still is hope and redemption.
Bean is a girl who grew up watching her mother jump in and out of bad and sometimes abusive relationships; realizes that this kind of life is not for her. So she begins to search for meaning in her own life. The compl
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Tiffany
May 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ahh I love this book so much! One of my favorites that I read last year!

The characters are truly unique and you can’t help but like Bean, the protagonist. It's obviously well-written and composed - it won 2 Saskatchewan Book Awards. Not all of the men in Bean's life were horrible - there was GT (Grandpa) and of course, her Goose, which seemed kind of like a rip-off of Ducky from Pretty in Pink, but still awesome. This book is by no means an easy read with such difficult and dark material, plus l
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Steve
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
With Mostly Happy having such a high rating I can't Help but ask myself if I've missed something in only giving it two stars.
My reply to myself continues to be, 'No!'
There wasn't much new offered in the way of insight into the issues addressed.

I suppose my biggest complaint is that I have never been a big fan of martyring
Oneself In order to rescue the un-reachable. At some point, ones own sanity has to take preference. Probably not a good reason to give only two stars.
Still, it's all it deser
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Gail Kesslar
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at the 2009 Saskatchewan Book Awards, after seeing author Pam Bustin win the Best New Book of the Year Award. Her enthusiastic response to the win made me like her on sight, and made me curious about the book.

My choice for a Book Club selection I truly enjoyed Mostly Happy. Although it didn't bubble over with the same enthusisam that Bustin herself did that night, it still puts "happiness" in context.
Nikki
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Wonderful first novel by Pam Bustin. From th beginning I was hooked. I loved the concept of listing all the treasures in the little samsonite bag and building the story of Bean's life around these items. Some very dark material is covered, but it is presented in such a way that the title remains relevant.
Elise
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Honestly one of my favourite books.

The story keeps you interested, she doesn't spend too much time on the "boring" stuff and it's written really well.
I got it from the the library but I'm definitely going to buy it next time I get a gift certificate!
Alexandria
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-fic
Loved every minute of this book. Recommended it non-stop for an entire month.
The story was exceptional and honest. seemingly told with the almost indifference of someone whose had a long life and come to terms with her story and the impact she made.
I loved bean, and I loved this book.
Lesley
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I happened upon this one at the library and loved it. I hope this author is working on another novel as she's very talented. I'll be thinking about Bean, Goose and other characters for a long time to come....
Calista
Bean immediately resonated with me. She is so much like Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, another strong young female voice. I think I fell in love with Bean the moment she said she was practicing her inner voice-over.
Demi (Breaking Bookshelves)
The moment I started reading it I couldn't put it down. Amazing and moving. When I find this novel, purchase it and re-read it, I will write a proper review, one that takes time and effort deserving of such a wonderful book.
Teresa
Feb 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: white-pine
Amazing book!
Shannon
Feb 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
LOVED this book and this author. I wish she'd write a follow-up to Bean's story!
Jennifer
Very amazing. I love the writing style but there are some sensitive topics in here, so beware. Not the usual "everything is happy now" ending, just a mostly happy ending.
Jill
Dec 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The characters were interesting and believable, and who can't help but love Bean?
Julia
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Strangely addictive
Leslie
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was great. A little depressing near the end, but still a very good read.
Katy
Oct 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rosie-wannabees
What a great character Bean is - resilient and easy to like. The Canadian references are few and not confusing. I think this one would be popular with students.
Judy
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2010
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I was raised in a host of small towns across the prairies and live (mostly) in Chapleau Ontario.

My first novel Mostly Happy was published in February 2008 by Thistledown Press. You can find out more about the book, see some pics of the Mostly Happy book tour and giggle at some videos on the Mostly Happy Page on facebook.

My play Saddles in the Rain won the John V. Hicks award in 2002, and was publ
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