Whatever Makes You Happy
By Lisa Grunwald
(Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780812973211, 248pp.)
Publication Date: August 8, 2006
List Price: $13.95*
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What does it take to be happy? How happy is happy enough? And what does “happy” mean, anyway? So asks Sally Farber–wife, mother, daughter, friend, working woman, and lover–in this wise and funny novel about a woman’s search for happiness in some of the right, and a few of the wrong, places.
Summer in the city looms long for Sally Farber when she sends her two daughters off to camp for the first time. Suddenly freed of her usual patterns in a city that becomes a grown-up’s playground,, she embarks on a journey unlike any she’s ever had–filled with guilty pleasures and guilty pains.
Caught between the past (cleaning out her childhood apartment as her demanding mother offers edicts from South Carolina) and the future (facing her first semi-empty nest), Sally finds herself unexpectedly involved with a powerful, unpredictable man.
And as she researches a book whose very topic is happiness, she must weigh the relative merits of prescriptions for its attainment offered by Aristotle and the Dalai Lama, Freud and Charles Schulz, scented candles and Zoloft, her mother and her best friend. The answer comes, in the end, from a surprising discovery, in this rich and original novel about how we can find, and ultimately embrace, both happiness and love.
Stephen J. Adler is editor in chief of "Business Week" magazine and author of "The Jury: Trial and Error in the American Courtroom." Grunwald and Adler live with their two children in New York City.
"From the Hardcover edition."