Happy All the Time (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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Happy All the Time (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


I recently re-read this novel and fell in love with it all over again. It's a charming, thoughtful, upbeat and offbeat story of four people fallinig in love in 1970's NYC. Colwin makes happiness seem possible and plausible, but knows that sustaining happiness over time requires true effort--so there is angst and substance here. The characters are witty and smart, and you are treated to snappy, intelligent and hilarious dialogue, odd-ball secondary characters, and to one of my favorite characters of all time--Misty Berkowitz. She's full of cynicism, sass, intelligence and insecurities, and she's always setting roadblocks to happiness for fear it won't last. I get that, and I love her and want her to be my best friend. Colwin helps me to remain ever hopeful and happy a lot of the time.

— From Jeanne's Picks

A modern classic first published in 1978 that is as much a sophisticated romantic comedy about the love between two partners as it is a novel about the powerful bonds shared by family members, friends, colleagues and confidants. 

“A comedy of manners that reminds us that manners are comic and should be enjoyed as such.” —The New York Times


Guido and Vincent, best friends (and third cousins), aren’t expecting to fall head-over-heels in love, but that is exactly what happens. Guido is smitten with Holly, a dazzling young woman who chafes at the idea of complacency, while Vincent falls for Misty, a work colleague with an acerbic sense of humor who seems as uninterested in romance as she is in Vincent (at first). In the months that follow, both couples will experience the rituals of courtship, jealousy, estrangement, family entanglements, and other perils of the heart as they try to find love in spite of themselves.

Colwin is a master of portraying the messiness of life: here, in hilarious and endearing prose, she follows these two improbable pairs, and their families, as they navigate and ultimately find happiness together—not all the time, but for most of it. 

With a foreword by Katherine Heiny.
Laurie Colwin is the author of five novels—Happy All the Time; Family Happiness; Goodbye Without Leaving; A Big Storm Knocked It Over; and Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object—three collections of short stories—Passion and Affect; The Lone Pilgrim; and Another Marvelous Thing—and two collections of essays, Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. Colwin died in 1992.
Product Details ISBN: 9780307474407
ISBN-10: 0307474402
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: March 23rd, 2010
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries
“Laurie Colwin was the best kind of master: human and humorous, full of wisdom and love. When am I happy all the time? When I have a stack of Laurie Colwin books beside me.” —Emma Straub, bestselling author of All Adults Here

“Luminous . . . a book that lingers sweetly and hilariously in the memory.” —The Dallas Morning News

“A wise, bighearted book by a wise, bighearted writer. A deft and funny one, too.” —The Washington Post

“Colwin is a bard of burgeoning adulthood.” —Rachel Syme, The New Yorker

“A comedy of manners that reminds us that manners are comic and should be enjoyed as such.” —The New York Times

“Laurie Colwin’s great subject was happiness—whether romantic, familial, domestic, or culinary—and she managed to write about it with both élan and emotional depth. . . . How wonderful it is that her books are still with us.” —The Christian Science Monitor