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Saturday, August 1, 2015

THE FAR END OF HAPPY by Kathryn Craft called me back for a re-read. I so happy it did!

 Below you will find my original review of this book. I read the book quickly, and now I see,  superficially. This past week I took my time and re-read the book, savoring every word. The raw emotion still grips the reader even when reading slowly and picturing the scenes in all their minute detail. The psychological insights, the slow but steady development of the characters as they interact with each other during the 12 hours of this plotline, and the suspense mounts with each passing hour.  The slow reading showed me depth of detail, beauty of words, and suspense that I had rushed through on the first read.

So...if you have not read this wonderfully crafted 12 hour story, I encourage you to do so. Not many authors could craft a story with so many interwoven plots into a 12 hour ordeal, but Kathryn Craft has done it. Based upon her first husband's suicide, this story draws the reader in to her real life tragedy.  For me, it did so even more the second time around.

Don't forget to read the author's notes for they add to the story.  I think this book could lend itself to great book club discussions. There is even a reader's guide included.


Original book review:
The Far End of Happy is a powerful new novel based on author Kathryn Craft’s personal experience with a stand-off involving her husband.  Here Craft delivers “real, raw emotion” (Library Journal) exploring a marriage unraveled by mental illness; and one man’s spiral towards a violent conclusion that tests the courage, love, and hope of the three women he leaves behind.
When the emotionally troubled Jeff engages police in a deadly stand-off, his wife, mother-in-law, and mother struggle to understand why the man they love has turned his back on the life they have given him, the one they all believe is still worth living.
“Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning (Library Journal).” Narrating from the alternating perspectives of three women, whose lives will be forever altered by Jeff Farnham, gives an intimate look at the steps a woman will take to get the help her husband so urgently needs while desperately trying to keep her children safe.
A former dance critic who wrote for The Morning Call daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for nineteen years. Craft wrote exclusively nonfiction until she was plunged in the kind of real-life drama that demands attention. In 1997, after fifteen years of marriage, her husband committed suicide in a police standoff, leaving her and their two young sons.
The Far End of Happy was born from Craft’s need to make sense of what her husband had done. Kathryn has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is also the author of The Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Website:

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