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Happiness

Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Summary

A breathtaking novel from Orange Prize short-listed and Commonwealth Writers' Prize-winning author Aminatta Forna.

Waterloo Bridge, London. Two strangers collide. Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist, and Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes. From this chance encounter in the midst of the rush of a great city, numerous moments of connections span out and interweave, bringing disparate lives together.

Attila has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma and to check up on the daughter of friends, his 'niece', Ama, who hasn't called home in a while. It soon emerges that she has been swept up in an immigration crackdown - and now her young son, Tano, is missing.

When by chance Attila bumps into Jean again, she joins him in his search for Tano, mobilising into action the network she has built up, mainly from the many West African immigrants working London's myriad streets, of volunteer fox-spotters: security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens. All unite to help, and as the search continues, a deepening friendship between Attila and Jean unfolds.

In this delicate yet powerful novel of loves lost and new, of past griefs and of the hidden side of a multicultural metropolis, Aminatta Forna asks us to consider the values of the society we live in, our coexistence with one another and all living creatures - and the true nature of happiness.

©2018 Aminatta Forna (P)2018 Recorded Books Inc

Critic reviews

"Her prose quietly grips us by the throat and then tightens its hold. It is storytelling at its most taut...A gifted writer." (Independent)

"A fresh, immaculate stylist and an unsparing chronicler of human vices...Profound." (The Times)

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Robotic meandering

Was definitely not my favourite book I have listened to. I often felt like the narrator sounded robotic and her accents felt awkward.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

Will certainly read more from Aminatta Forna. What a pleasure to listen to Robin Miles! Great!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wide ranging themes but dodgy accents

The book covers stories distant across time and space and themes from love, wildlife human conflict, the impact of war and parenthood. The characters are likeable and convincing and the story line keeps you involved. My only Cristian is that the narrator tried and failed to carry off Irish and London accents - a slight distraction that should not put you off the book