Happiness – The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham


A shirt-grabbing, page-turning love story that follows a one-of-a-kind family through twists of fate that require nearly unimaginable choices.

Happiness begins with a charming courtship between hopelessly attracted opposites: Heather, a world-roaming California girl, and Brian, an intellectual, homebody writer, kind and slyly funny, but loath to leave his Upper West Side studio. Their magical interlude ends, full stop, when Heather becomes pregnant – Brian is sure he loves her, only he doesn’t want kids. Heather returns to California to deliver their daughter alone, buoyed by family and friends. Mere hours after Gracie’s arrival, Heather’s bliss is interrupted when a nurse wakes her, “Get dressed, your baby is in trouble.”

This is not how Heather had imagined new motherhood – alone, heartsick, an unexpectedly solo caretaker of a baby who smelled “like sliced apples and salted pretzels” but might be perilously ill. Brian reappears as Gracie’s condition grows dire; together Heather and Brian have to decide what they are willing to risk to ensure their girl sees adulthood.

The grace and humor that ripple through Harpham’s writing transform the dross of heartbreak and parental fears into a clear-eyed, warm-hearted view of the world. Profoundly moving and subtly written, Happiness radiates in many directions – new, romantic love; gratitude for a beautiful, inscrutable world; deep, abiding friendship; the passion a parent has for a child; and the many unlikely ways to build a family. Ultimately it’s a story about love and happiness, in their many crooked configurations.


I do not even know where to start. I usually do not read books where children might be harmed. I usually cannot get through them. When I was asked to read this story, I didn’t actually catch on it was about a child. I saw love story and the cover and thought, “ok, looks pretty good.” OH BOY!! What a ride!

The blurb of this memoir says it is a love story. I guess it kind of is. But to me, that is not where the focus lies. The focus is really about the challenges facing a family who has a sick child. I cannot fathom going through everything this mother and this whole family went through.

Heather is a new mother and apparently single, even though this was not what she intended. She finds herself in an impossible situation when something is terribly wrong with her newborn daughter. And like the title says…”The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After” that is where the story leads. And, believe me, it is crooked!

This is a super good read and so well written. I really thought I was reading a fiction tale. It is engrossing is many places. When I had to actually put the book down because life happens, I found myself thinking about Gracie. It is a tear-jerker and heart wrenching in places, but it is ALL heart and soul!

Please do not fail to read this one! Excellent!

I received this memoir from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

Barnes and Noble


About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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