Family Happiness (1982)

by Laurie Colwin
In a moralistic tale, a woman would be punished for an extramarital affair or at least listen to a guilty conscience and give it up.

That’s not to say that Polly doesn’t struggle with guilt. She loves her husband, Henry. She has always been a good girl who caused no one the least trouble — and therein lies the source of her trouble. Polly is tired of always doing for others and never getting back. Her lover, Lincoln, has awakened a need to be loved for herself.

Polly struggles with guilt but also challenges it: Doesn’t she deserve her own happiness? Polly’s unexpected answer gives Family Happiness a surprisingly upbeat ending.


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