Welcome to Faha, a small, close-knit and perpetually damp rural parish in West Clare. When Noe Crowe arrives in disgrace from Dublin to stay with his grandparents, he finds electricity being installed in the area and, miraculously, the rain has stopped. All through that life-changing summer, as the poles go up and the sun beats down, Noe uncovers the mysteries of the heart. Peopled with wonderful characters and illuminated by bursts of traditional music and droll Faha wit, this is a quiet masterpiece.
- Margot Coughlan, Dubray Stillorgan
The most enchanting novel you'll read this year, from the acclaimed author of Man Booker-longlisted History of the Rain
Change is coming to Faha, a small Irish parish unaltered in a thousand years.
For one thing, the rain is stopping. Nobody remembers when it started; rain on the western seaboard is a condition of living. But now - just as Father Coffey proclaims the coming of the electricity - the rain clouds are lifting. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is idling in the unexpected sunshine when Christy makes his first entrance into Faha, bringing secrets he needs to atone for. Though he can't explain it, Noel knows right then: something has changed.
As the people of Faha anticipate the endlessly procrastinated advent of the electricity, and Noel navigates his own coming-of-age and his fallings in and out of love, Christy's past gradually comes to light, casting a new glow on a small world.
Harking back to a simpler time, This Is Happiness is a tender portrait of a community - its idiosyncrasies and traditions, its paradoxes and kindnesses, its failures and triumphs - and a coming-of-age tale like no other. Luminous and lyrical, yet anchored by roots running deep into the earthy and everyday, it is about the power of stories: their invisible currents that run through all we do, writing and rewriting us, and the transforming light that they throw onto our world.