Some Kind of Happiness is a magical tale that features a wonderful protagonist whose quest to bring truth to her family, which inspires her to be truthful herself. The writing is wonderfully lyrical and showcases genuine relationships of newfound family.
The Everwood is Finley’s domain. She writes stories about the kingdoms and beings that live there and when she is forced to stay with her grandparents, she realizes she has found the Everwood. Bewitched by the Everwood she has found, Finley can think of no better place to go exploring and discover the true secrets of the Everwood. But as she explores more, she discovers a decrepit burned house, a family of pirates, and a secret she can’t even imagine. The summer she stays with the Hart family, her cousins and grandparents, will be one that changes not only Finely forever, but uncover the secrets surrounding the mysterious Everwood for good.
The Everwood might fall—but it could still be saved, even then. The trees whispered it; the birds sang it: A fall does not have to be forever. All they would need to save the Everwood, said the guardians’ signs, was a queen. (2)
Let me begin with my favorite thing about Some Kind of Happiness, the Everwood chapters. They are gorgeously written, like a fairy tale come to life. Even more so, they serve an essential purpose to the story and Finley. They are a way for her to not only escape the anxiety and depression she feels, but create a world that transfixes everyone who hears them. Revealing the undercurrent of the story, these chapters are both beautiful and mystical.
This story is about finding family and the necessity of uncovering the truth. Finley’s first meetings with her Hart cousins, allows Finley to discover the bonds of family-the way that family connections just click. There are miscommunications, betrayal, and mistakes in family, but that is part of what makes those relationships so precious. Finley’s befriending of her family makes their relationships more precious as she comes to appreciate each of their quirks and form special relationships with all of them. I wish her family members had a little more depth, I realize there are tons of them, and so only a few were chosen, but I wish we had a little more quirks from them! They have so much potential to be a charming strange bunch.
The Main Character
Finley struggles with her anxiety and depression alone, keeping it a secret, and so her journey to find her voice and come to terms with her mental health is extremely important. Her character was charming: honest, quirky, and vulnerable. I absolutely loved her. By unraveling the mysteries of the Everwood, she finds a source of bravery and courage inside herself. Inspired to confront the ‘darkness inside her’ (this is how it is called in the Everwood chapters), Finley is able to confide in her family, receiving support from her parents, her family, and her psychologist. By finding her inner voice, which she used to uncover the secrets within her own family, she is able to speak up for herself as well.
The Power of Stories
If you are afraid, sad, tired or lonely
If you feel lost or strange
If you crave stories and adventure, and the magic possibility of a forest path—this book is for you (Dedication)
This novel highlights the power of stories for courage, honor, and integrity. Let’s not forget fun and imagination, but the stories reveal childlike sparks in all of us, child or adult. Most of us, I certainly did, grew up on stories, and I would never discount their power. When we are afraid of the truth, the way so many characters are in this book, we live in fear and can retreat into ourselves. Finley inspires us all to speak our inner truth, to find our voice, and share with our loved ones. Family love is not the cure for our problems, but they can be fantastic sources of support.
The truth heals, while it may be painful, scary, and they can cause damage at first, the truth is always best out. Secrets have a way of fermenting, the fear of exposure leaking out into the soil and poisoning the roots. I recommend this book to anyone who loves the lyrical writing style, who enjoys family dramas and mysteries, and who want to read a book with a really intriguing main character.
What is your favorite childhood story?
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