The Happiness Glass (Spinifex Press 2018) by Carol Lefevre is a slim compendium volume of fiction, non-fiction essays and memoir exploring the ideas of homesickness, infertility, adoption, parenting and familial estrangement.
The fictional character Lily Brennan appears in a series of interconnected segments that reflect different stages of her life, as a young girl from a working-class family right up to an elderly woman in a nursing home. These are interspersed with Lefevre’s recollections of memoir as she writes about her own life and the griefs that have plagued her. The confluence of characters and situations is sometimes confusing, but the raw emotions explored are particularly evocative and moving, especially around children – the desire for them, the responsibility of them, the protectiveness towards them, the confrontations with them, the heartbreak of separation from them, the inevitable separateness from them and the underlying knowledge that ultimately they will travel their own paths. This is a thought-provoking and esoteric book that offers a stream-of-consciousness journey familiar to many women.