Often I Am Happy (2016) is a short novel written by Danish writer Jens Christian Grondahl.
It is a bittersweet, unsuspecting story that captivates the moment you open the cover, through to it’s ending; each page filled with Grondahl’s poetic, lyrical, emotional writings on grief, strength, loneliness and forgiveness.
It is a beautifully written narrative of Elinor- one of the many flawed, messy, damaged but ultimately human characters that surge across the pages.
In the novel, she pens a letter to her friend Anna, who died forty years prior in the same skiing accident that also killed Elinor’s first husband and Anna’s secret lover, Henning.
Spurred by the death of Anna’s husband, Greig- and whom Elinor came to love and marry in her place after Anna’s death- Elinor feels the need to divulge her lifelong secrets, insecurities, grief and relief to the best friend who left her with so many unanswered questions.
Elinor’s story is complicated, tangled but immensely resounding as she loses and finds herself through reaccounting her life of love, death and family- and one you will find yourself reading in one sitting.