Books: Happy Now?

One woman's pursuit of the elusive H word

No one, as Sally Farber, the protagonist of Lisa Grunwald's novel Whatever Makes You Happy (Random House; 238 pages), notes, quarrels about what anger means, or sadness, or envy. "But happiness is—it's—a shimmer." Farber, 40, has had no trouble writing books on The History of Anger, The History of Jealousy and even The History of Love, but she's hung up on writing the biography of happiness. Two kids running into the bedroom "like bright, sharp arrows," a "tidy, perfect, kitchen drawer" of a husband plus a book contract, and still, for Sally, happiness lies around the corner.

Farber decides early on...

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