May 11, 2015

Women's Fiction Spotlight: The Far End of Happy

Over a year ago, I read Kathryn Craft's first book The Art of Falling. I adored it, felt that there were so many aspects of it that related to me as a person. When I saw Craft's second book was coming out, how different the cover was from the first, I was hesitant to believe it was possible for her to match what she accomplished in the first book.

I was wrong in the most fantastic way possible.

Blurb from Goodreads: After enduring years of a struggling marriage, Ronnie Farnham has decided to divorce her husband and is beginning to hope for a happy future--until the morning Jeff is supposed to move out, when he locks himself in their barn with a rifle.
When a massive police presence arrives to control the 12-hour stand off, the women in Jeff's life are pushed to their breaking points. Based on the author's harrowing personal story, The Far End of Happy is a powerful novel about the way one man's spiral towards life's violent conclusion tests the resolve, love, and hope of the women he will leave behind.

The book starts by getting the reader attached to Ronnie, feeling that she is gearing up for a hard day because her husband is moving out as one of the first steps toward divorce. Within pages, the stakes are raised to nearly breaking point. Truly, I couldn't read fast enough.

But as the description says, this is a 12 hour saga, and thanks to the three points of view we get to see, the tension ebbs and flows, good times and hard times blended together with pacing precision. And the voices of each character showed their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the issues with the other characters. We get to see backgrounds, experiences that made the characters who they are, all while police are negotiating a suicide standoff.

I completely adored the book - thought about it when I wasn't reading it which is an extraordinary compliment. It was stunning in so many ways.

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JeffO said...

Sounds like a pretty interesting story.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

She is an amazing writer. I'll have to check out her newest.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow! That sounds absolutely fascinating and so, so tense! I hadn't heard of it before this, but now I think I'll have to look into it. Thanks!