Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnes Martin-Lugand

happy peopleHappy People Read and Drink Coffee rips your heart open from the start. 

When Diane loses both her child, Clara, and her husband, Colin, within the first five pages of the book, I was distraught.  Reading how this woman spirals into a depressive cavern of her own mind, leading her to smoke, drink, and sleep away her pain, was terribly unbearable.  It was bad enough that Diane felt the need to physically move from Paris and her bookstore, “Happy People”, to Mulranny, Ireland to escape her pain.  On top of that, she meets Edward, who is a complete jerk to her for no reason other than the fact that she is his new French neighbor.  This books takes you through the ups and downs of being somewhere new with the reality of a woman who has lost everything she held dear.

If the goal of Agnes Martin-Lugard is to stab your wounds over and over by reading about the pains that this woman suffers, then job accomplished; give her the award.  Yes, expect tears, but not just soul-crushing, breath-stealing ones, but joyous relief for the fragments of happiness that poor Diane does have the luck to experience.  And yes, expect yourself to be racing to the next bookstore or library you can find to get the sequel, Don’t Worry: Life is Easy

(Amanda Sanson, Central Library)

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