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15 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
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2 star:    (0)
1 star:
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonder of a book
I first read Laurie Colwin's _Family Happiness_, years ago, and it just gets better.Polly Solo-Miller Demarest is an outwardly conventional upper-middle class Manhattan wife and mother.She has looks, brains, social graces, money, and a secret life.She unexpectedly fell in love with the dashing Lincoln Bennett, a semi-monastic, and very good artist.Her inner conflicts...
Published on September 15, 2001 by Lawrence W. Prichard

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Mediocre and boring.
Published 4 days ago by Amanda Erickson


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonder of a book, September 15, 2001
This review is from: Family Happiness (Paperback)
I first read Laurie Colwin's _Family Happiness_, years ago, and it just gets better.Polly Solo-Miller Demarest is an outwardly conventional upper-middle class Manhattan wife and mother.She has looks, brains, social graces, money, and a secret life.She unexpectedly fell in love with the dashing Lincoln Bennett, a semi-monastic, and very good artist.Her inner conflicts drive this beautifully written, engaging book.This is similar, in theme, to Anne Tyler's _Back When We Were Grownups_, but Colwin's characters are far more interesting and personally appealing, and there is more resolution.This book is for anyone who has a complicated, hard to define inner life.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will laugh and cry, February 21, 2001
By A Customer
This is a wonderful book. I'm always sad to go the Laurie Colwin section in my library and know there will be nothing new, but knowing this book is usually there makes me feel a little better.
Polly's conflict is age old. In the middle of a seemingly wonderful life, the ache she feels is really touching. I think the search for her real self and the chaos it creates to the people around her is so funny and sad at the same time. It askes the question: Who am I really?
I love Polly's family and the way she relates to each member. As just their Polly, she is ultimate diplomat. The toll this task takes, I think, I something many women can relate to. I know I can. And while I'm not sure an affair is the answer, it fills the emptiness and helps her to realize that she is a person with needs too.
I love all of Laurie Colwin's books. This one, though, is my favorite.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love all of Laurie Colwin's books, May 16, 2013
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This review is from: Family Happiness (Paperback)
I have read this book several times and finally decided to buy it for myself so I can re-read it whenever I want to.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book for those who like family stories., September 24, 2013
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This review is from: Family Happiness (Paperback)
The book was somewhat dated, but enjoyable. Mrs. Colwin developed her characters well, but I found the story somewhat drawn out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorite books, May 6, 2013
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I have read this book many times over the years. I love her descriptions of everyday life in Manhattan, family dynamics, food. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Marriage and Affairs, October 8, 2014
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This review is from: Family Happiness (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book very much. It really looks at marriage problems realistically. It also faces the problem of sexual affairs. It might help American women understand and accept the maybe helpfulness of an affair to the marriage.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, December 22, 2014
This review is from: Family Happiness (Paperback)
Mediocre and boring.
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14 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars small correction, May 28, 2000
By A Customer
Laurie Colwin died of a heart attack, not cancer, which I think about whenever I prepare on of her butter-loaded recipes from the Home Cooking books. But I make them anyway, and read her books over and over again. She clearly had the wisdom, open-mindedness, and generosity of spirit it takes to be a great cook as well as a great writer. There's no one else like her.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dick and Jane, April 26, 2012
This review is from: Family Happiness (Paperback)
Spoiler Alert: This book could have been written in 20 sentences or less, but dragged on for 200+ pages. The prose isn't much better than my synopsis below. The author does not offer a new or captivating way of framing this age-old tale. It was repetitive and empty. Don't waste your time. Summary: Jane and Dick are happy. Jane is a happy daughter, wife and mother. Jane's family is perfect. Dick likes Jane. Jane likes herself. Dick works too much. Jane is unhappy. Jane meets John. Jane likes John, and John likes Jane. Jane's perfect life is on the rocks... at least in Jane's very limited own head. Jane doesn't like Jane. Jane makes friends. John goes away for a while. Jane talks to Dick. Dick likes Jane. John comes back. Jane likes Dick and John. Jane likes Jane. The end.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loses it's steam, March 10, 2011
This review is from: Family Happiness (Paperback)
Let me start by saying I love Laurie Colwin's writing most of the time, but this book disappoints towards the end and that kind of ruined it for me. Ms. Colwin repeats parts of her story again and again. It's almost as if she is trying to "stretch out" the book and cannot think of anything new to write. It gets extremely tedious and I lost my interest and just wanted to finish the book and get it over with. Not her best effort. She should have shortened the book and it would have been much better. In my opinion the author lost sight of where she was going with Polly's character.

Pat Murphy
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Family Happiness
Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin (Paperback - December 5, 2000)
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