This Is Happy by Camilla GibbThis Is Happy by Camilla Gibbsticker-burst

This Is Happy

byCamilla Gibb

Hardcover | November 15, 2017

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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.

Heather's Review

To write a truly great memoir first requires a tremendous amount of honesty. When we look back at our own lives we can’t help but revise, edit, and rationalize. Pulling those threads apart to get at the truth is impossible without profound, painful honesty and intense personal insight. It also requires immense courage to let those de...

see all heather's picks
CAMILLA GIBB is the author of four novels--Mouthing the Words, The Petty Details of So-and-so's Life, Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement--and has been the recipient of the Trillium Book Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and the CBC Canadian Literary Award and shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Cami...
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Title:This Is HappyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.54 × 5.81 × 0.98 inPublished:November 15, 2017Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385678126

ISBN - 13:9780385678124

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Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not bad It is okay, not the best read but decent
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good good storyline, a must read!
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok this is such a great book! I loved the plot, storyline, and everything in between!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definitely a must read! I love reading memoirs, and even though I had not heard of this author prior to reading this book, I was very happy that I came across this book and read her story. It is such an inspiration reading all the hardships that she went through and how she managed to turn her real-life situations into a page turning memoir.
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must read Tremendous in all aspects.
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this book down I struggle with being consistent and finishing books but this beautiful tale of the authors life just what I needed to revive my love of reading. The stories told are so heart wrenching, raw and easy to relate to, this book is enough to make you feel as though you aren't alone in your daily struggles and encourage you that you can always make something beautiful (like this inspiring novel) out of seemingly hard life experiences.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Definitely a must read! I love reading memoirs, and even though I had not heard of this author prior to reading this book, I was very happy that I came across this book and read her story. It is such an inspiration reading all the hardships that she went through and how she managed to turn her real-life situations into a page turning memoir.
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Feeling bad for this review This memoir was too depressing to finish. I would look at it and dread reading it, finally gave up on it. My bookmark is still inside it, maybe I will finish it but I just was not enjoying it. Sorry
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it Very moving and insightful. A very good read
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Treat to Read I read this memoir for a university course, never having delved into the genre previously. I thoroughly enjoyed Gibb's raw emotion and unflinching details about her life. She was able to articulate messy inarticulate feelings and has a very honest, easy to follow writing style.
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Horribly depressing ! This is by far the worst and most depressing book I have ever read. I was raised by a mother with Borderline Personality Disorder who wreaked sheer havoc on the lives of her five innocent children. Two of my brothers committed suicide, and I lost my father and only sister tragically and needlessly and I have survived through it all - Camilla Gibb needs to "Buck Up" - she spends the entire book feeling sorry for herself - while traveling the world and buying various houses.......a spoiled child!!
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart wrenching, emotional, and real! This book was incredible. Incredible, being an understatement. I have never read anything by Camilla Gibb before and it really was by chance that I picked this book up. To put it simply, I judged a book by its cover. This cover was aesthetically pleasing and the title also stuck out. I did not even read a summary or description before I delved right in. If you are going into the book with the expectation of it being a light, 'happy' read as the title suggests, you will be surprised (as I was). This story hits you fast and hard with the harsh realities of a difficult life. When I was reading this narration of her life and all the difficulties that she repeatedly faced, sometimes I sat there in shock. Shock of how this was non-fiction, this WAS someone's story. Also eye opening was the experience and lifestyles in Ethiopia which was only a small fraction of the book. It's in those moments that I'm truly aware and appreciative of the blessings that I have in my life. This memoir was heart wrenching, emotional, and real. Camilla Gibb really exposed and opened herself to her readers in this memoir. The writing flowed and was easy to read (even if the content was not). I will highly recommend this book. Camilla Gibb, you are a strong, strong, woman.
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Raw and Humble Memoir this is exactly what a memoir should be.. personal and raw. you go on the journey with Camilla, and really makes you look at life in ways you wouldn't. definitely a touching experience with a deeper meaning of finding your own happy in your life.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A vibrant, honest and raw memoir To write a truly great memoir first requires a tremendous amount of honesty. When we look back at our own lives we can’t help but revise, edit, and rationalize. Pulling those threads apart to get at the truth is impossible without profound, painful honesty and intense personal insight. It also requires immense courage to let those deeply personal, usually uncomfortable truths out into the world. Camilla Gibb, intimate, honest, and fearless, demonstrates these qualities on every page of This Is Happy. Gibb has already shown that she’s one of Canada’s finest writers with novels like the award winning Sweetness in the Belly and the wonderful Heather’s Pick The Beauty of Humanity Movement. In This Is Happy she turns her talent with words and her deep understanding of the human condition on herself. This is in many ways a confessional, and her writing is often raw, her emotions vibrating just under the surface of the page. It’s as if we were sitting across a table, drinking coffee as she shares with us the joys and darkness of her life. It is a journey that takes us from a troubled childhood in Canada, to the grey of Oxford, to the culture shock of living with a family in Ethiopia, and back to Toronto where her determination to be a mother, to give her child the love she never felt, leads her through heartbreak and uncertainty to an unexpected happiness. Gibb’s story is deeply personal – she is a survivor of depression, is haunted by the ghost of a broken, at times monstrous, father, and from the ashes of a family she creates her own. At the same time her story is universal – she struggles to find her place in the world, to reconcile her dreams as an individual with being a mother, and to build a safe space for herself and the ones she loves. This is Happy is a reminder that family (and life) is not what we’re given, but what we make, and it’s a book I’m proud to call a Heather’s Pick.
Date published: 2015-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Touching Discover Camilla Gibb ''warts and all'' in this touching and human memoir. I discovered a lost soul in search of the meaning of life who, after a long struggle, finally found a reason for living. As an Indigo National Staff pick book selller I will not hesitate to recommend this title.
Date published: 2015-07-06

Editorial Reviews

National BestsellerShortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize  A National Post Best Book of the Year A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2015 A Quill & Quire Notable Book of 2015"One of the most exquisite, agonizing and, above all, uplifting books of the year." —The Globe and Mail "Stunning. . . . An unflinching and moving testimony to how a new kind of family can be built from an old one’s wreckage." —Montreal Gazette"Anger, honesty, compassion, fear, wit and insight electrify Gibb's deft sentences, singing the importance of belonging, of self-worth and of story, particularly its unique ability to render us knowable to others and to ourselves but, most especially, to our children." —Winnipeg Free Press "This Is Happy is a raw, exposed nerve sheathed in poetic insights. . . . Gibb's journey from 'there to here' is an honest and unflinching look at the pain of abandonment, and the deep digging and work you must undertake to rebuild your world and find your happiness." —CBC News"[Gibb is] a gifted storyteller. . . . Her story is touching, human, alive. . . . It is beautifully written, brave and sincere. Enjoy." —The Vancouver Sun "This Is Happy is a powerful testament to what people can overcome and permission for what people can't." —Toronto Star "This Is Happy has a rawness and power that's hard to resist. . . . Gibb's themes are important, and she has some powerful insights. . . . There's no doubt this engaging memoir comes from a gifted writer." —NOW (Toronto) "An array of life experiences both marvellous and painful in quiet language that often belies their extraordinariness. . . . This Is Happy is a tiny green shoot peeking through a crack in heavy concrete, wily and survivalist, but tenuous too." —The Globe and Mail"Camilla Gibb has written a compelling memoir of new motherhood, altered relationships and a family finding its way to wholeness. How moving this book is, in its quiet resolve and deep compassion." —Anne Michaels, the award-winning author of Fugitive Pieces"This Is Happy broke me, lifted me up, and filled me. I can't remember the last time I read something so honest, tender, brutal and kind." —Sarah Polley