The Promise of Happiness
A powerful elegy to the intimacies and idiocies of family, The Promise of Happiness tells the story of an apparently ordinary family on the cusp of an extraordinary moment: the return of the family's prodigal daughter, Juliet. Her release from an upstate New York prison throws the Judds, formerly of London but now scattered, back together.
For her father, Juliet's conviction for a theft she may not have committed had proven the disintegration of a dying society. For her mother, it is a source not only of resentment, but bafflement. And for all of the Judds, it is a moment of both intense joy and confusion.
As Justin Cartwright's novel opens, Juliet's parents await her release and return to England. Charlie, their capable and successful son, has been charged with collecting her and softening her reentry into the world, his own life unsettled meanwhile by his glamorous girlfriend's pregnancy and his ambivalence towards it. Sophie, the youngest and most rebellious sibling, is in the midst of getting her chaotic life (mostly) under control. And Juliet herself is wounded, the perfect daughter made scapegoat for a victimless crime.
With searching perception and gentle humor, Justin Cartwright gradually reveals the inner struggles of the five disparate Judds as they grapple with their conflicting feelings for each other and the moral dilemmas that beset them, bringing them finally together in what is ultimately a celebration of the layers and universal oddness of the love of a family.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - otterley - LibraryThing
Justin Cartwright is not an easy writer to place. This book is an everyday story of dysfunctional middle class families - parents and three children; the golden girl about to come out of prison in the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Eyejaybee - LibraryThing
Another saga of dysfunctional families from Cartwright. In this novel the Judds (Charlie and Daphne) await the release of their daughter Juliet who has been in prison in America following her ... Read full review