The story begins by introducing the reader to Guido Morris and Vincent Cardworthy, third cousins and best friends.
A little history of their lives thus far is woven into a tale that soon shows the reader some of their romantic escapades and then, finally, settles into how they eventually pick their marital partners and begin their “real lives.”
Not really a romance, Happy All the Time (Vintage Contemporaries) is instead a peek into the lives of four people: Holly, who seems perfect on the surface and who marries Guido, but who needs little retreats every now and then to maintain her composure; then there is Misty, who is something of a chaotic personality, with pessimism a guiding force; when she ends up with optimistic Vincent, one would think that they would be a mismatch. But the opposite turns out to be true. These four people find one another and discover that “happiness is an art form that requires energy, discipline, and talent.”
This novel is described as a “delightful comedy of manners and morals…about romantic friendship, romantic marriage and romantic love.”
I found myself smiling a lot as I read this story that shared the wonderful details of daily life, with all the challenges of living with a partner. The characters were drawn in such a way that I could visualize them completely. It has been awhile since I’ve read anything by this author, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I liked the theme of happiness, with its underlying promise that one can actually create happiness with the right attitude. Four stars.