Happiness is the light shining on the water. The water is cold and dark and deep … (William Keepers Maxwell, Jr, in Over by the River and Other Stories (1977)).
If you read my post, “Happiness is …” (07 Nov 2012), you might recall that I’d intended to write about the novel to which Maxwell’s words were a foreword/pre-text – but had been unable to find which book I’d copied it out of.
Back in the Wellington City Library again a day or two ago, my gaze lit on the cover pictured here … and at once I knew that was it.
The truth is, I hadn’t got very far into the book before it was due to be returned … Need I say more?
Reviewing Joy for The Observer (17 June 2012), Alexander Larman suggests that “Jonathan Lee’s highly accomplished second novel might be called Joy, but real happiness is lacking from the lives of its characters.”
Amazon.com describes Joy as “a hugely inventive, ambitious and absorbing novel about pleasure, love, loss, and work by ‘a major new voice in British fiction’ (Guardian).”
There’s already a pile of library books beside the table at home, so I didn’t get Joy out again … but I’m likely to give it another go again soon.