Finished February 13
The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft, performed by Janet Metzger
This novel was inspired by a real life episode in the author's own life. As the book begins Ronnie wakes up in the guest bedroom of her home, on the morning that her husband is supposed to be moving out. This is a temporary measure, giving Ronnie time to find a new place to live for her and their young sons, while getting them out from sharing the same roof. Ronnie has grown more and more unhappy in her marriage, initially allowing herself to be stifled in her own career goals, then finding that her husband has kept secrets from her regarding his spending, their financial circumstances, his consumption of alcohol, and more. As he has grown more distant, their physical intimacy has also diminished, and Ronnie feels that she must begin again for her own good.
That morning, she finds her husband's bed not slept in, the TV blaring, and an accusatory note left in her office. As she gets the boys up and ready, her husband Jeff reappears, but it becomes obvious to all of them that he is drunk. As her youngest son Will takes it upon himself to intervene, her husband's unstable state of mind becomes clear. His car is stocked with alcohol and he threatens to kill himself with a shotgun.
This novel covers the next twelve hours as Ronnie, her mother, and her mother-in-law all examine the events that have led to this day. All three of them, as they wait under police protection in the nearby firehouse, look back at their relationships, their own struggles with life, and their questions about what more they could have done.
This is an exploration of depression from family members viewpoints, and about the complex feelings that exist when the help they want to give isn't accepted.