The Book of Happiness

The Book of Happiness Review

An outstanding novel about a young Russian woman's life in exile after the Russian Revolution. The Book of Happiness is one of the outstanding novels the great Russian writer Nina Berberova wrote during the years she lived in Paris, and the most autobiographical. "All Berberova's characters live raw, unfurnished lives, in poverty, on the edge of cities, with little sense of belongingexcept in moments of epiphanyto their time and in life itself" (The Observer). Such a character is Vera, the protagonist of The Book of Happiness. At the novel's opening, Vera is summoned to the scene of a suicide, that of her childhood companion, Sam Adler, whose family left Russia in the early days of the revolution and whom Vera has not seen in many years. His death reduces Vera to a flood of tears and memories of the times before Sam's departure, and thoughts about how her life has gone sinceher move to Paris where she lives tied to a brilliant but demanding invalid husband. Berberova spins the story with a wonderful unsentimental poignancy, making it a beautiful testament to the indestructibility of happiness.

Title:The Book of Happiness
Edition Language:English

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    The Book of Happiness Reviews

  • Tuck

    Poignant story of Russia young women leaving (escaping) st Petersburg during the revolution and whose newlywed husband soon sickens in Paris and her life is reduced to sad nurse maid. But oh so much m...

  • Lavinia

    I liked it. Unfortunately by the time I got used to its rhythm, it ended. The part that speaks about Sankt Petersburg is very warm and white, the part that describes Paris reminded me of "Bleu", Kiesl...

  • Paula

    Versão portuguesa, "O Livro da Felicidade". Editora Ambar, tradução de António Pescada."- Você compreende quando se diz que a felicidade é como o ar, que não se sente?- Não. Acho que não.- E ...

  • Steve

    Love and its demands, and its ever changing face at different times in our lives, is the theme of Nina Berberova’s novel The Book of Happiness. Berberova’s novel is set in the early part of the T...

  • Paula Koneazny

    The Book of Happiness, although apparently written in the 1990s, at the end of Berberova’s long life, reads like a modernist novel of the early 20th century. (Both Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Richard...

  • Torea Frey

    This book is quite a lovely little thing. And the following caught my eye:They had come out of the post office. Karelov licked a corner of the envelope and stuck the stamp on. She was dumbstruck. She ...

  • Vel Veeter

    A small novel written in the 1930s (I think — it’s hard to locate) by a Russian expat living in Paris, and not published until much later and translated into English in the 1990s. It’s a small, ...

  • Benot

    An intriguing life story of a woman who, like Berberova, saw St Petersburg, Paris and Nice. The storytelling is soft and sensitive, mainly composed of Vera's rememberings in the first two parts after ...

  • Stefania Botezatu

    This whole book is brilliant.The beginning is so catchy and just very smart. The writing pace is wonderful. The settings are so fascinating and lucid, and some of these encounters and conversations ar...

  • Bonnie

    The Book of Happiness? More like the book of crap. The timeline made no sense. The characters were vague and confusing. I'm told by a reviewer that this story is supposed to be about the perseverance ...