The Book of Happiness (Paperback)
New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811215039, 208pp.
Publication Date: May 17, 2002
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Such a character is Vera, the protagonist of The Book of Happiness. At the novel's opening, Vera is summoned to the scene of a suicide, that of her childhood companion, Sam Adler, whose family left Russia in the early days of the revolution and whom Vera has not seen in many years. His death reduces Vera to a flood of tears and memories of the times before Sam's departure, and thoughts about how her life has gone since -- her move to Paris where she lives tied to a brilliant but demanding invalid husband. Berberova spins the story with a wonderful unsentimental poignancy, making it a beautiful testament to the indestructability of happiness.