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Description - The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy

The critically acclaimed bestseller from the number one bestselling author of The Moment and A Special Relationship. A powerful romantic novel set in the tumultuous world of post-war America. New York, 1945 - Sara Smythe, a young, beautiful and intelligent woman, ready to make her own way in the big city, attends her brother's Thanksgiving Eve party. As the party gets into full swing, in walks Jack Malone, a US Army journalist back from a defeated Germany and a man unlike any Sara has ever met before - one who is destined to change Sara's future forever. But finding love isn't the same as finding happiness - as Sara and Jack soon find out. In post-war America chance meetings aren't always as they seem, and people's choices can often have profound repercussions. Sara and Jack find they are subject to forces beyond their control and that their destinies are formed by more than just circumstance. In this world of intrigue and emotional conflict, Sara must fight to survive - against Jack, as much as for him. In this mesmerising tale of longing and betrayal, The Pursuit of Happiness is a great tragic love story; a tale of divided loyalties, decisive moral choices, and the random workings of destiny.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099415374
ISBN-10: 0099415372
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 39mm)
Pages: 656
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 7-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy

UK Kirkus Review » Douglas Kennedy's fourth novel is set in New York, and is written from the viewpoints of two women. The first is Kate, divorced and discontented. The novel opens at her mother's funeral, where she notices a striking, watchful stranger in her 70s. This woman, Sara Smythe, soon contacts Kate and without any explanation asks, insists even, that they should meet. Sara tells Kate that her father Jack, who died when Kate was a baby, was the love of her life. Then, only 60 pages into the novel, a bold switch of reader involvement is required, as Sara's written account of her life and her hidden love story fill the bulk of the novel. Sara also had a brother Eric, with whom she had a wonderful bantering relationship but also one of deepest affection and loyalty. She meets Jack Malone on wartime leave and her love for him is immediate, though he has to return for duty abroad the very next day. Despite his earnest promises, she does not hear from him for four years. Only much later does she learn that a casual relationship of his in Britain during the war led to pregnancy and a reluctant marriage. Their chequered love relationship continues amid the deepening horror of the McCarthy witch-hunts, about which Kennedy writes with passion and very well. Eric, who had been a member of the Communist Party in his youth, is drawn into the nightmare of being pressured to 'name names'. If he does not, he will not only be sacked, but exposed as gay. Eric and Jack dislike each other, but Jack becomes very supportive - until the truth of the complex network of betrayal emerges. Eric's downfall and Sara's agony over him and her flawed and adulterous relationship with Jack are movingly told. Choices have to be made, with tragic consequences. The last 30 pages return to Kate, and her reactions, and how these revelations about the past help to shift her own entrenched obstinacies. The Pursuit of Happiness is a most ironic title for this thoughtful, involving book, but a wiser Kate will continue to try to 'make things work'. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Douglas Kennedy

Douglas Kennedy's novels include the critically acclaimed bestsellers The Pursuit of Happiness, A Special Relationship, The Woman in the Fifth and The Moment. He is also the author of three highly praised travel books. His work has been translated into twenty-two languages. In 2006 he was awarded the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Born in Manhattan, he has two children and currently divides his time between London, Paris, Berlin and Maine.

Books By Douglas Kennedy

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