State of Happiness by Stella Duffy

About the book

Duffy is best known for her sharp insights and sharper wit, and both are on display here… When Jack and Cindy meet at a friend’s party they are immediately attracted to one another. Cindy, a celebrated mapmaker, traces the contours of their relationship, from New York to LA, from first passion to real love. After five years together, Cindy and Jack think they have tested their love to its limits. But then Cindy falls dangerously ill, and the couple must face the hardest test of all. Told with wit, tenderness and unflinching honesty, STATE OF HAPPINESS is a captivating story of love and loss from a writer at the height of her powers. ‘STATE OF HAPPINESS is a sharp, sobering cocktail spiked with metaphysic, immense good humour and understanding.

Reviewed by Bookworm Club:

Sensitively written on an awkward subject. the story didn’t need the bad language. A little on the slow side.

Star rating: **

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3 thoughts on “State of Happiness by Stella Duffy”

  1. Review by Anon Reading Group:
    Many people commented on life’s path. Some found it “close to home”, especially those with personal experiences, and the group had mixed feelings as it was so real, very profound. The relationships were found interesting, the aspects of leaving New York and the finding of the new flat also, but the mapping information was not liked by some. It was considered well written, the short sentences were highlighted. Many felt it was a strange theme to choose. The title it was decided was a pun on the STATE OF California HAPPINESS.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by Anon Reading Group:
    Many people commented on life’s path. Some found it “close to home”, especially those with personal experiences, and the group had mixed feelings as it was so real, very profound. The relationships were found interesting, the aspects of leaving New York and the finding of the new flat also, but the mapping information was not liked by some. It was considered well written, the short sentences were highlighted. Many felt it was a strange theme to choose. The title it was decided was a pun on the STATE OF California HAPPINESS.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by New Forest/Waterside U3A Reading Group:
    Having just read ‘The Spare Room’ another book with approaching death as its central theme, several group members decided that ‘State of Happiness’ was too close to personal experience and opted out of reading it. The general opinion of the readers was that the book is beautifully written, gripping and an interesting contrast to the previous book. The concept of life-mapping produced valuable discussion and comfortably drew into the circle the non readers. This is an excellent book but for group reading has to be chosen with care.
    Star rating: **

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