I Loved the Humor in Getting to Happy [SPOILERS]
By Ricochet Dreamer on June 18, 2011
Getting to Happy is not the kind of book I’d normally choose to read -- novels about middle aged women dealing with divorce and the disappointments of “real life” aren’t really my thing. I’m more someone that gravitates toward stories of great adventure and achievement and if two people weave a love story through the pages, that’s a definite added bonus for me.
By contrast, the characters in Getting to Happy have been sorely disappointed in love. Infidelity, porn, boredom and dishonesty have all torn apart the romantic relationships of the main characters. One of the characters, Gloria, seems to be truly in love with her husband, but he is shot and killed by gang violence on their wedding anniversary.
From the premise, it would seem that the book would be an incredibly depressing book to read, especially during the summer -- but it’s actually quite hilarious in all of its unhappiness and disappointment. For example, the book opens by describing the relationship between Savannah and her husband, with whom she is supremely bored. When he leaves for a business trip she discovers he’s been spending thousands of dollars on pornography. She’s so angry that she throws his computer into the pool. Savannah calls her sister to tell her she’s through with her husband, her sister tries to tell Savannah that this is something all men do.
“You didn’t bust up his computer, did you?” Savannah’s sister asks. Savannah says no, of course not.
“So it’s all in one piece?” and Savannah says yes, it is in one piece. Then she called her husband and tells him she thinks there must be a virus on his computer, and that he really should get a back up drive, because you never know what might happen.
I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters, despite their obvious flaws. The humorous little exchanges between the four of them kept me interested. It reminded me of my relationships with my own sisters and how after calling one sister, we often hang up only to dial sister number two up five minutes later to provide an update on the craziness of our own lives.
In this novel we see each character go through personal disasters throughout the book. Characters you’ve come to love get fired while others battle addiction, mourn their husbands, search unsuccessfully for love on the internet, battle through wounds inflicted through divorce. I do wish that at least some of the characters actually “get to happy,” but the humor interspersed with the tragedy made me happy enough to read the book.
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