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This Is Happiness

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  17 reviews
About This Is Happiness
The most enchanting novel you'll read this year, from the acclaimed author of Man Booker-longlisted History of the Rain

Change is coming to Faha, a small Irish parish that hasn't changed in a thousand years.

For one thing, the rain is stopping. Nobody remembers when it started; rain on the western seaboard is a condition of living. But now – just as
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  60 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Niall Williams writes a joyous ode to Ireland, its landscape, and to family and community roots in this lyrical coming of age novel set in the rural village of Faha in County Clare. It speaks of a not so long ago past where life was simpler, a place that ran to its own sense of time, ostensibly not a memorable place, but Williams lovingly and tenderly evokes and illuminates a family and a community with their own particular beauty. Even if it did rain incessantly in all its multitudinous forms ...more
Ron Charles
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Ireland that Niall Williams writes about in this novel is gone — or would be if he hadn’t cradled it so tenderly in the clover of his prose. Escaping into the pages of “This Is Happiness” feels as much like time travel as enlightenment. Halfway through, I realized that if I didn’t stop underlining passages, the whole book would be underlined.

Although it takes place in the late 1950s, the story feels bathed in sepia tones, and that’s not just the candlelight of Williams’s nostalgia.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A week ago I had no idea who Niall Williams was but after this I’m sure I will not forgetting him for the rest of my life.
This was beautiful. There’s no other way to put it. Simply beautiful.

Nostalgic and melancholic from start to finish this is one of those novels where you’ll have to fall into the rhythm of the words to truly appreciate it. This is a book to be savoured and you can’t rush it. And you can’t give up on it either.

And so much wisdom... So many beautiful passages... I wanted to
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is undeniably beautiful. The pace is slow which makes it a book for a specific mood. It's rare that I pause two third of the way through a book, particularly one I like, but that is the case here. Living in the Pacific Northwest where the rain has come early this year I felt the need to escape the rainy green of Ireland. In the bright sunny days of summer I plan to return to Faha.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautifully written story about life and how we navigate its intricacies. The author writes such a lovely and vivid way that you feel like your in the story. I would highly recommend to fans of literary fiction.

Thank you to Macmillan for the Arc copy of this novel. I am giving my opinion freely and without bias.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lyrical and very Irish coming-of-age story, well-worth reading.

The story begins when Noe looks back at his youth, and remembers his path to maturity. It takes a leap back in time to when he decided to leave the seminary, and found himself at a loss. He stayed with his extremely old-fashioned grandparents in a village which seemingly hadn't changed for centuries. When Christy, a lodger, came to work on the electricity, and to search for his old love, Annie, Noe's life changed When he
Kim McGee
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Faha is a small Irish town that is on the cusp of being modernized even though its people are guided by tradition and the old faith. The man who will bring them electricity has another agenda, however. Christy once spurned one of Faha's most respected women and he will have an upward battle to find forgiveness. Noel (Noe) is just at an age of understanding and he has Christy to guide him in the inner workings of love, forgiveness and what it means to be a good man. This is a classic Irish coming ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this one hard to keep with. Quite literary, probably.
I kept putting it down, as seen from the date range below - but I persevered.
Niall clearly has a strong sense of the time in rural Ireland that he is writing about. I persevered, but I perhaps skimmed a lot.
It was quite emotional toward the end, and I was surprised that I was caught up in the book at that point.
I've only given it a 3 because of my own enjoyment. But I think that for many they would rate higher than that.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a well written book, but I had a hard time staying interested. The descriptions of characters, scenery, etc is very detailed, most sentences are the length of a paragraph. The story is very slow moving and with the amount of non essential details, I found myself skimming, looking for the next important event. I think this will be a winner for a lot of readers, just not quite my cup of tea.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written book, full of unexpected turns of phrase and descriptions of nature (particularly rain!) and characters. The reader is forced to slow down to village pace and enjoy the story telling, however, there were times when I did wish it moved just a little faster.
Thank you to netgalley and Bloomsbury for an advance copy of this book.
Anne Goodwin
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On leaving the seminary, seventeen-year-old Noel goes home to his father in Dublin and from there to his grandparents in the small village of Faha in County Clare. On the same day, in the run-up to Easter, a stranger arrives to lodge in the simple farmhouse: an older man named Christy, part of the advance troops commissioned to install electricity in the village. It’s also the day that the rain stops and an unprecedented heatwave begins.
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Claudia Douris
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pure poetry....perfection!
Nam Nguyen
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An idyllic tale. Lots of 50-plus-word sentences so you might have to concentrate a bit harder to read it.
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I listened to it on Audible which really tied in with the whole storytelling arc of the story and really added to the experience of the book.
Eloise Daisley
Dec 01, 2019 marked it as to-read
very good
Mandy Parris
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another masterpiece bt Niall Williams .
A joy to read .
M D Evans
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rated it it was ok
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rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2019
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Niall Williams studied English and French Literature at University College Dublin and graduated with a MA in Modern American Literature. He moved to New York in 1980 where he married Christine Breen. His first job in New York was opening boxes of books in Fox and Sutherland's Bookshop in Mount Kisco. He later worked as a copywriter for Avon Books in New York City before leaving America with Chris ...more