|There’s light reading and there’s don’t waste my precious time reading. We may be swamped, but we’re not stupid. The trick is to find books that entertain without insulting our intelligence. In the first of our new series of book reviews, we enthusiastically recommend Lisa Grunwald’s Whatever Makes You Happy . It makes the cut.
Sally Farber, the writer/mom/wife protagonist of the novel is having trouble writing her book that is supposed to be about the history of happiness, facing the first summer without her two beloved daughters as they go off to camp, and wrestling with a disturbing discontent she can’t name. She’s married to a man she’s known since childhood who adores her, has published several successful books, lives a good life on the Upper West Side of Manhattan - yet somehow, for the first time, that doesn’t seem to be enough.
If the tale that follows is a bit predictable – she becomes involved with a provocative artist radically different from her husband – the telling is witty, smart and filled with insights, especially about the love a mother feels for her children.
Here’s a literate, funny, thoughtful novel -- well worth our precious time.