'"All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them,' Isak Dinesen once said. Sorrows are all pain otherwise, pain without sense or meaning. But joys, too, it seems to me, need their context. And sometimes their coexistence needs to be borne. The coexistence or possibility of the opposite can be what gives an experience its meaning. At its simplest, that is a story." - Camilla Gibb, This Is Happy
In this profoundly moving memoir, Camilla Gibb, the award-winning, best-selling author of Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement, reveals the intensity of the grief that besieged her as the happiness of a longed-for family shattered - grief that lived in a potent mix with the solace that arose with the creation of another, most unexpected family. A family constituted by a small cast of resilient souls, adults broken in the way many of us are, united in love for a child. Reflecting on tangled moments of past sadness and joy, alienation and belonging, Gibb revisits her stories now in relation to the happy daughter who will inherit them, and she finds there new meaning and beauty.
Raw and unflinching, intelligent and humane, This Is Happy asks the big questions and finds answers in the tender moments of the everyday.
What the critics say
National Best Seller
Shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize
A National Post Best Book of the Year
A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2015
A Quill & Quire Notable Book of 2015
"Anger, honesty, compassion, fear, wit and insight electrify Gibb's deft sentences, singing the importance of belonging, of self-worth and of story, particularly its unique ability to render us knowable to others and to ourselves but, most especially, to our children." (Winnipeg Free Press)
"An array of life experiences both marvelous and painful in quiet language that often belies their extraordinariness.... This Is Happy is a tiny green shoot peeking through a crack in heavy concrete, wily and survivalist, but tenuous, too." (The Globe and Mail)
"[Gibb is] a gifted storyteller.... Her story is touching, human, alive.... It is beautifully written, brave and sincere. Enjoy." (The Vancouver Sun)