An outstanding novel about a young Russian woman's life in exile after the Russian Revolution. The Book of Happiness is one of the outstanding novels the great Russian writer Nina Berberova wrote during the years she lived in Paris, and the most autobiographical. "All Berberova's characters live raw, unfurnished lives, in poverty, on the edge of cities, with little sense of belonging - except in moments of epiphany - to their time and in life itself" (The Observer). Such a character is Vera, the protagonist of The Book of Happiness. At the novel's opening, Vera is summoned to the scene of a suicide, that of her childhood companion, Sam Adler, whose family left Russia in the early days of the revolution and whom Vera has not seen in many years. His death reduces Vera to a flood of tears and memories of the times before Sam's departure, and thoughts about how her life has gone since - her move to Paris where she lives tied to a brilliant but demanding invalid husband. Berberova spins the story with a wonderful unsentimental poignancy, making it a beautiful testament to the indestructibility of happiness.
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April 1999 : USA Hardback
May 2002 : USA Paperback