This Is Happiness

Author(s): Niall Williams


Longlisted for the 2020 Walter Scott Prize for Historical FictionThe most enchanting novel you'll read this year, from the acclaimed author of Man Booker-longlisted History of the RainChange is coming to Faha, a small Irish parish unaltered 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 Father Coffey proclaims the coming of the electricity - the rain clouds are lifting. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is idling in the unexpected sunshine when Christy makes his first entrance into Faha, bringing secrets for which he needs to atone. Though he can't explain it, Noel knows right then: something has changed. As the people of Faha anticipate the endlessly procrastinated advent of the electricity, and Noel navigates his own coming-of-age and his fallings in and out of love, Christy's past gradually comes to light, casting a new glow on a small world. Harking back to a simpler time, This Is Happiness is a tender portrait of a community - its idiosyncrasies and traditions, its paradoxes and kindnesses, its failures and triumphs - and a coming-of-age tale like no other. Luminous and lyrical, yet anchored by roots running deep into the earthy and everyday, it is about the power of stories: their invisible currents that run through all we do, writing and rewriting us, and the transforming light that they throw onto our world.


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Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is living with his grandparents in the remote Irish village of Faha where it never stops raining. The writing is so beautifully descriptive you can feel the mist and damp in the air. However, change is coming in the form of sunshine and the much awaited (and sometimes controversial) advent of electricity to the village. The story is about first love and lost love, built around so many colourful characters that this story could only be Irish! A coming-of age tale recounted by Noel or “Noe” as he is called in his youth, as an old man recalling his experiences of falling in and out of love (mostly in). The mysterious lodger, Christy, whose past gradually comes to light brings secrets he needs to atone for and adds a “mystery” element to the narrative.


This story displays the self-deprecating Irish wit on every page – I smiled throughout and thoroughly recommend this lyrical tale.





General Fields

  • : 9781526609359
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : 0.278959
  • : January 2020
  • : ---length:- '7.795'width:- '5.079'units:- Inches
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Niall Williams
  • : 400
  • : English
  • : Sep-20
  • : Paperback