“Everything looks like a painting: blue sky, white house, bright flowers.
How can the world look so perfect when I feel so broken?”
Isn’t that last sentence gorgeous?
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand is considered a middle grade read, but honestly, I think every adult should read this book. It is subtle. It is profound. It is happy. It is sad. Most of all, it is beautiful, nearly perfect, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Thank you for writing this, Mrs. Legrand. Truly, thank you.
The story is told through the eyes of Finley, a clever 11-year old girl with a vivid imagination, who is sent to spend the summer with her grandparents, from who her parents are estranged, while her mom and dad work out their marital problems. She’s never met this side of the family before, but she arrives to find their house sits on the edge of a forest, much like the one she’s been writing about called Everwood. From there, Legrand gives us a hint of fantasy as the story is told both by Finley’s narrative and by her fantastical tales of Everwood. There’s also a touch of mystery as she discovers why her father has refused to see his family and why her grandparents hate the next door neighbors so much.
All in all, though this is a really a slice of life with all its ups and downs.
“I have read stories where the main character encounters a door-a window, a gate-and on the other side lies a magical land where anything is possible. If that is, you dare to step through.”
Legrand’s prose is simply wonderful. It’s effortless, vivid, and lyrical without being cliché or overdone. It drove you to keep reading and was perfectly effective. Each sentence is as effective as possible. As a lover of words, I can appreciate how precisely this book was written.
The character of Finley suffers from depression and anxiety. As a person who also has depression and anxiety, I can also say that the book has some of the most accurate descriptions of what its like to live with these mental illnesses every day. I appreciate that this dialogue has been opened, and that mental illness is being respected and talked about. I also appreciate that the author also showed how wonderfully creative the mentally ill can be. My creativity has always stemmed as an outlet to release negative energy.
Sometimes you have to go to a dark place in order to create something beautiful and bright.
This book was released today. I encourage you to go get a copy. You can buy the hardcover or kindle edition here on Amazon. Legrand has another book coming out later this year called Foxheart, which I’m beyond excited about. Give her work a go. You won’t be disappointed.
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I receive no monetary gain by you buying a copy of this book.
Thanks, darlings, and tootle loo!