The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft ~ Fiction Book Review

23367927I have mixed feelings about this book. It was well written. It told a good story. It was emotionally compelling, crafted in a way that pulled at your heartstrings. It was relatable. It was easy to both identify and sympathize with the characters. But it was also based on an event that actually happened in the author’s life. So while I bought it as a work of fiction, I can’t help but feel that it is more a piece of creative nonfiction. And that leaves me feeling a bit cheated.

It’s not that I completely avoid nonfiction. I just prefer to chose the subject and add it to my reading diet when it  meshes well with my emotional appetite. I’m well aware that most fiction has roots based in real events, but the mere label of fiction allows me to distance myself and read it in an impassive state of  mind. Knowing that the story was based on something someone actually went through messed with my impression on the book.

Were my feelings appropriate? Was I supposed to feel more than I did? Is it strange that the only time I teared up was at the end when I read the author’s acknowledgement page? These are questions that I’m not supposed to have with fiction. That’s why I prefer to read it. I can cry when I want, laugh when I want, and judge the characters however I want because they’re not real. Reading this made me feel awkward and weird, but there is no denying that it was a good book. 4.5 stars.

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