This Is Happy

This Is Happy

Book - 2014
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'"All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them,' Isak Dinesen once said. Sorrows are all pain otherwise, pain without sense or meaning. But joys, too, it seems to me, need their context. And sometimes their coexistence needs to be borne. The coexistence or possibility of the opposite can be what gives an experience its meaning. At its simplest, that is a story." --Camilla Gibb, This Is Happy

     In this profoundly moving memoir, Camilla Gibb, the award-winning, bestselling author of Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement , reveals the intensity of the grief that besieged her as the happiness of a longed for family shattered. Grief that lived in a potent mix with the solace that arose with the creation of another, most unexpected family. A family constituted by a small cast of resilient souls, adults broken in the way many of us are, united in love for a child. Reflecting on tangled moments of past sadness and joy, alienation and belonging, Gibb revisits her stories now in relation to the happy daughter who will inherit them, and she finds there new meaning and beauty.
     Raw and unflinching, intelligent and humane, This Is Happy asks the big questions and finds answers in the tender moments of the everyday.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, 2014
ISBN: 9780385678148
9780385678124
Branch Call Number: 813.54 GIB 2014
Characteristics: xii, 276 pages

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SCL_Heather Aug 24, 2017

As a fan of Camilla Gibb’s fiction, I appreciated getting a glimpse into her personal story as told in her best-selling new memoir, This Is Happy. While eight weeks pregnant with her first child, Gibb is blindsided by the devastating news that her spouse of more than ten years has fallen out of ... Read More »


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SCL_Heather Aug 24, 2017

As a fan of Camilla Gibb’s fiction, I appreciated getting a glimpse into her personal story as told in her best-selling new memoir, This Is Happy. While eight weeks pregnant with her first child, Gibb is blindsided by the devastating news that her spouse of more than ten years has fallen out of love and is leaving. Having survived an abusive and lonely traumatic childhood and struggled with mental illness, the stable family life she thought she’d finally found suddenly vanishes. Gibb reflects on her journey from this place of incredible pain, and the process of creating an unconventional family for herself and her baby.

As I read this memoir I kept reflecting on the courage Gibb demonstrates in relating her experiences with abuse, abandonment, and bipolar disorder. Hers is a raw and heart-breaking story, but it is also a very relatable story about finding joy in the small moments of ordinary life and learning to be happy without the fairy tale ending.

s
SHAKTI DUGGAL
Jun 30, 2017

This is a beautiful book could not put it down and loved how Camilla wrote of her life and relationships. Poetic and moving - recommend this for those who want to learn how mental illness effects some and the challenges that are faced.

m
melanith
Sep 24, 2016

I enjoyed the authenticity that Camilla shared about her mental illness. Going through mental illness myself I found it quite brave to share her struggles. I think that my only disappointment is how much of her story was about motherhood. I am at a different spot now though where I am trying to find who I am without motherhood now that my kids don't need me anymore so we are at opposite ends of the spectrum so although I identified with the mental illness I didn't completely identify with the motherhood piece.

w
writermala
Apr 09, 2016

Camilla Gibb is certainly not a newcomer in the Canadian Literary scene. This however, has to be by far her most sensitive book. In this, her memoir, she deals with subjects like Mental Illness and Sexual Orientation; but she does it so naturally that we just go on reading without passing judgement. The characters share their feelings and raw emotion and the story is one of love, hurt, and family. Above all, Gibb gives the reader hope when she wonders if "hope is simply the human word for the animal impulse in us to survive."

smc01 Jan 11, 2016

Beautifully written, very sad at times, uplifting at others. Most of the reviews and interviews for this book have centred on Gibbs' marriage breakdown and her building a family with unlikely people. The message of "taking a village" to raise a child is a lovely one. But the book also covers Gibbs' experience with depression - a lifelong struggle - and in so doing gives the reader important insights into coping with mental illness.

s
santiano9
Jan 01, 2016

Only the excellence of the writing allowed me to finish this book. So much unhappiness...lucky that her writing skills provided for a nanny and travel. Poor woman. Hope she finally found the speck of light at the end of the tunnel.

s
shakespeare7
Dec 31, 2015

Loved this book . Although the author and I have had such different lives she touched on and expressed some of our similarities so well that I was often brought to tears from the memories these evoked. I love people stories and this has been one of my favorites. I look forward to reading her previous books. 5 stars from
thereadingwoman

susankent Nov 30, 2015

A touching and compelling memoir. Don't be surprised if you find yourself reflecting back on different stages in your own life.

t
trincm
Oct 25, 2015

This wasn't as fascinating as I anticipated. Kind of a sad tale and I guess more true to
life but certainly not captivating. It bothered me that she referred to her daughter throughout the story as the "egg". At first it was cute, then it became apparent what her feelings for her were. It wrapped it up at the end and given the last chapter you feel like it wasn't such a waste of time to read.

o
ownedbydoxies
Sep 30, 2015

Excellent. Gripping. Beautifully written. Although, that being said, every once in a while I just wish she'd take another look and see the positive a little more in the individual moments. That's the only thing that kept me from hitting the five-star rating. But I'd recommend it as a really good read.

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