Book Review | No Happy Endings

Yellow has been one of my favourite colours since I was a child. This bright and intense colour creates a strong visual impact. Colour psychology suggests that key characteristics that are often associated with yellow include: warmth, hope and energy. If there is nothing else to it, at least this colour can immediately grab your attention, right?

“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.”

~ Vincent Van Gogh

We say: Don’t judge a book by its cover. But this time around when I was choosing a new book to read for the Victoria long weekend, I made my decision simply based on the yellow colour of a book cover:

No Happy Endings: A Memoir

by Nora McInerny

Any author who would like to use a bold yellow colour to represent the core essence of what she/he has to say must be a happy person. And, to be happy, is what I have been pursuing to be, since I was a child.

So, on the first day of the Canadian summer season, taking a deep breath of the slightly chilly and brisk air, I started my happy journey of reading.

Three pages in, I quickly realized that there should not be no happiness to this book at all. Not only that, it’s actually starts with a devastatingly heart-breaking situation.

Nora McInerny, a mother of 3 year old, lost her husband, her father, and her unborn second child, all in ONE catastrophic year.

Life has a million different ways to kick you right in the stomach. There is time we may lose love, lose confidence, lose hope, lose jobs, lose health, and lose wealth. But to lost everything all at once is just out of this world crazy.

Nora lost the most precious love in her life when she was 31 years old, but the miracle is: among all the disasters that life threw at her, she didn’t lose herself, she didn’t lose humour, she didn’t lose fun, she didn’t lose courage, she didn’t lose happiness.

In this memoir, Nora offers a tragicomic exploration of the tension between finding happiness and holding space for the unhappy experiences that have shaped her.

After her husband Aaron passed away due to the brain cancer, she gathered her life together and found new love in another man 18 months later.

Nora lives a life, after her life has fallen apart.

She knows that she needs to move forward, for herself and for Ralph, the baby boy she had with Aaron.

She understands that life isn’t always happy, but it isn’t the end: there will be unimaginable joy and incomprehensible tragedy.

By now, she has formed a new family with four children, a loving husband and a highly accomplished career.

A great reminder to all of us: sometimes there will be no happy endings, but there are always be happy beginnings.

Keep moving;

Move forward;

Don’t give up;

Never stop.


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