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The Far End of Happy Paperback – May 5, 2015
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"This title is based on the author's experience with a standoff involving her husband, which adds real, raw, emotion to the plot. Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning" - Library Journal
"A compelling read, an unflinching exploration of one of life's most inexplicable horrors...Craft is a talented storyteller, and the most important decision she has made with this novel is to provide an attitude of compassion for every character. Her narrative carries us through to the end of this very horrible day as it simultaneously pulls us into the minds and hearts of the characters. We experience the terror, regret, anger, and sorrow of each family member. It is the strength of each of the women characters that knits the story together, as it must have been that same strength that pulled the family through such a terrible time." - New York Journal of Books
"This novel is the very definition of a page-turner as it follows a twelve hour stand-off between a man threatening suicide and the police. Told from the alternating perspectives of his wife, his mother and his mother-in-law, the past is woven in with the present until the shattering conclusion." - Huffington Post
"Despite the known outcome, Kathryn Craft keeps the tension edge-of-your-seat suspenseful in The Far End of Happy, with deftly woven backstory and alternating present-day hourly narrative. She creates a story that is unflinchingly honest and hard-hitting. A superb insider's look at the ripple effect of clinical depression and suicide." - Kate Moretti, author of the New York Times bestselling Thought I Knew You, and Binds That Tie
"In The Far End of Happy, Kathryn Craft does not flinch from exploring the deep-rooted reasons for her characters' actions. Compellingly written, the tension builds throughout the book and the reader comes out the other side with more insight, and more compassion, for those who may find themselves on the far end of happy." - Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Hidden
"A complex and gripping story of broken hearts, lives, and marriages that will tear you apart from beginning to end." - Steena Holmes, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Memory Child and Finding Emma
"An incredibly honest and courageous exploration of a marriage torn apart by neglect and threats of suicide. Craft's ability to tell a tale as beautiful as it is haunting left me in awe. Not one to miss!" - Mary Kubica, author of The Good Girl
"Kathryn Craft's The Far End of Happy had me captivated from page one. A poignant glimpse into the undoing of a marriage. Craft expertly weaves a gripping tale that hits the reader hard and keeps moving briskly to its heartbreaking but hopeful conclusion." - Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden
"Kathryn Craft is a masterful storyteller who weaves a heartbreaking story packed with tension and brimming with humanity." - Lori Nelson Spielman, #1 international bestselling author of The Life List
"The Far End of Happy gives us a newsworthy tragedy from the inside out. In sharply intimate language, Kathryn Craft deftly weaves her story out of many stories, some buried in the past, some fresh as a new wound, stories of true love, of families carefully built and then painfully unraveled, of a good man's life ravaged by alcoholism, and of the guilt, anger, hope, and tremendous strength of the women and children who love him." - Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Love Walked In, Belong To Me, and Falling Together
About the Author
Kathryn Craft has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is the author of The Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with her husband.
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Over the course of twelve hrs we are shown what has brought Ronnie and Jeff to this point. We will also see what Jeff chooses to do about it. As the story unfolds, you know that even if Jeff survives, there will be no flowers and sunshine happy ending. There is no such thing for two people who have such distrust, deep anger and unforgiveness for each other that brings one of them to the edge of suicide.
This book is told through the 3 person narrative of Ronnie, her mother Beverly and Jeff's mother Janet. Each woman knows Jeff in a different way and addresses her own understanding of what he's suffering. Each one also has her own secrets and interpretations. Most significantly is that each is a mother and wants to protect her child(ren). Beverly wants to help Ronnie avoid the pain of divorce so much that she encourages her daughter to stay with the man she married who clearly is not the husband he could be. Janet wants to ease her son's suffering, even if it has her lying to herself and others about certain things. Ronnie wants to shelter her and Jeff's two young sons from the pain that will come from this horrendous day whether Jeff chooses to live or not.
The story is tense and heartbreaking as it takes you through the twelve hours Ronnie has to endure as she waits for Jeff's fate to be decided. To say this is an emotionally exhausting book is an understatement. It is not easy to read because of its subject matter which is sensitive and brutal. But it is a very real story. One that happens in everyday life. It feels almost too intimate. Yet the message is overwhelmingly powerful. Depression mixed with Alcoholism and Suicide, whether attempted or carried out, claims a huge path of victims. Those of us who have "been there" know this statement all too well.
But if you have had to deal with this situation in real life, you may find it helpful to read this book. If you are in therapy, ask your therapist to read this book and tell you if she thinks you are ready to read this. Reading it felt like hearing what someone else had experienced, with the immediacy of it being told as it happens. Not for someone who has recently experienced such a loss. Maybe more helpful if you know someone else who has lost a friend or family member to suicide, if you cannot understand why it is taking the person you know so long to get over losing that person to suicide.
are moments of reconnection, awareness, love and wonder for the future..