Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $33.43

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Change is coming to Faha, a small Irish parish unaltered in a 1,000 years.

For one thing, the rain is stopping. Nobody remembers when it started; rain on the western seaboard is a condition of living. But now - just as Father Coffey proclaims the coming of the electricity - the rain clouds are lifting.

Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is idling in the unexpected sunshine when Christy makes his first entrance into Faha, bringing secrets he needs to atone for. Though he can't explain it, Noel knows right then: something has changed.

As the people of Faha anticipate the endlessly procrastinated advent of the electricity, and Noel navigates his own coming-of-age and his fallings in and out of love, Christy's past gradually comes to light, casting a new glow on a small world.

Harking back to a simpler time, This Is Happiness is a tender portrait of a community - its idiosyncrasies and traditions, its paradoxes and kindnesses, its failures and triumphs - and a coming-of-age tale like no other.

Luminous and lyrical, yet anchored by roots running deep into the earthy and everyday, it is about the power of stories: their invisible currents that run through all we do, writing and rewriting us, and the transforming light that they throw onto our world.

©2019 Niall Williams (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

What listeners say about This Is Happiness

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A delight from start to finish.

This novel is beautifully written and narrated - I enjoyed every minute of it. A lovely reflection on life’s lessons in love and friendship.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LJR
  • 14-06-2020

This is happiness

Loved it! Mr Williams writes in such an evocative way that for the duration of this book I was living in Faha in County Clare, Ireland. The characters were so real..Noe and his grandparents, Christy and Noe on the bikes searching for the music. The men standing out the front of the church. The ladies hats. The rain. The sun. The mossy house. The “public” phone. All the different types of love. For me, the beauty of this book was in the detail. Having the book read to me was magic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous Read

Another wonderful, clever, funny laugh out loud , before shedding a tear book. Niall Williams continues to deliver another heart warming story of a rapidly vanishing Ireland. A must read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • deb
  • 09-12-2019

Sublimely Ordinary

What a gorgeous book! I loved the sound of the Irish narrator (I do have a thang for the Irish lilt) and perfect for this story. An unusual way with phrases perhaps particular to this author, I’m not sure. I’m certainly going to read more of Niall Williams. I believe there is a prequel to this book. I have time in abundance to listen & read books so I search out the 14 & 16 hour narratives. Often they are not ‘page turners’, and this book is not in that category. It meanders among the life of the people of Faha following love & death & all that makes a life. I totally recommend this book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elizabeth Byrnes
  • Elizabeth Byrnes
  • 30-09-2019

A story of love and tenderness

A chance recommendation and a discovery of love and tenderness. Every word rang true and the storytelling was superb! I have recommended this novel to so many people, please make time to listen yourself!!!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laura H. Merrill
  • Laura H. Merrill
  • 28-12-2019

Utterly delightful. Therapeutic.

I enjoy this book and this performance from start to finish. Perfect in these trying times.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for bobgreenberger
  • bobgreenberger
  • 26-09-2020

Poetry disguised as Prose

Harper Lee said one of the reasons she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird was to preserve the image of a small Southern community, whose time was rapidly passing by the middle of the 20th Century. Set just a few years later, post-Sputnik, pre-Beatles, Niall Willaims does the same in This is Happiness. His preservation project was Faha, in County Clare, Ireland. It's a small parish and the story is equally sized but rich in detail. This is a community finally being wired for electricity and everyone sees it as a demarcation point, a step into the future. Told from the point of view of No(el), a 17-year-old trying to find himself, he takes his time telling his story. It's a love story about love of community and love of family, while also working as a love story of unrequited and young lovers. Williams takes his time in the telling because it matches the pace of the community. There are digressions but they're always interesting and he's being as poetic as possible while still writing prose. It's a lovely story and you're wistful for those simpler days. The writing is just lovely. I heard it as an audiobook and Dermot Crowley's narration is pitch-perfect, adding an extra dimension to the experience.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cheryl A.
  • Cheryl A.
  • 10-02-2020

In the fashion of oral storytelling

“This is Happiness” was beautifully narrated, reminiscent of the oral tradition of story telling. So well written. So nuanced and comforting a reminder that the essence of happiness is simply, the embrace of being alive.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peggy
  • Peggy
  • 13-01-2020

Best book ever!!!

Loved the book . Love the narrator. My heart ha not been so touched in a long time!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Doug Easterling
  • Doug Easterling
  • 24-08-2020

An utterly charming escape to not so long ago

Once again the Irish gift for use of the English language is demonstrated in nearly every sentence so rich with imagery that Faha will linger in your memory for a long time. Simply listening to the narration you will find yourself in a story of everyday small village life that is complex, compelling, and utterly rewarding. This is one of the most vivid books I have encountered in a long time. It offers a chance to realize that when life was simpler it also had humor, heartbreak, endurance, and, yes, happiness.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Martha Ressler
  • Martha Ressler
  • 29-07-2020

Full of grace

You can feel in your very bones every breath taken by these people, as gracefully and colorfully described by the author. As they live every moment you are with them, in their skins, a part of life more fully lived than before you turn the first page.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barbara
  • Barbara
  • 12-06-2020

One of the best books I have ever listened to!

I wish there were a six-star option. I’m surprised at how much I loved this book. Nothing much happens, the weather plays a role, and the pace is slow and sweet. This is a quiet story, set in a remote village in Western Ireland in the mid-20th century. The narrator, now an old man, recalls a spring when he was a boy if 19, staying with his grandparents in Faha, while the state electric company was putting in rural electrification. The book is about love: the teenager’s crush on all three daughters of the local doctor, the grandparents’ love for each other, and the love of an old man for the girl he left at the altar 50 years earlier. The book is gorgeous, made the more so by the superb Irish narration.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Patricia Reville
  • Patricia Reville
  • 03-06-2020

The Language of Happiness

This coming of age story is almost lost in the sensory delight of the words and the acting. The balance is struck after Mr Williams’s hero Noel, or has he is called No, takes us along through the agonies and mortifications of the first love, impulsive missteps, and painful consequences of a naive young man. It is equal parts painful and amusing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for 匿名
  • 匿名
  • 05-05-2020

Like escaping into time itself

I was a bit hesitant in the first few chapters, as the story meandered and I couldn't quite get where it was going. But having faith in the author and just enjoying the beauty of the words and sentences themselves, I found myself more and more captivated by the story. It took me in and brought me to another place, the town of Faha, whose inhabitants and quirks I feel I now know. There is an understated sense of humor here that had me chuckling throughout. And while being puzzled by the seemingly bland title at first, I now see how it perfectly describes the book and what it means to me. Another absolute gem by Niall Williams, supported by a supreme performance from the narrator. Storytelling at its finest. Give it time, and it will give you happiness.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Suzanne Crowley
  • Suzanne Crowley
  • 20-09-2019

Brilliant, funny, moving.

This book is an exquisite examination of life in an Irish village, and also an examination of life itself. The characters are beautifully drawn, you really miss them when you’ve finished it and they linger with you. One of the main reasons for this is the wonderful reading of them by Dermot Crowley who has the skill to create a world of people, individualising them so subtly you can picture them clearly in the storytelling. I want to read/hear it again soon.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-09-2020

Brilliant

A great story-well done Niall. A brilliant narration - well done Dermot. Sad. Funny. Clever.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Teresa Moran
  • Teresa Moran
  • 13-09-2020

Terrific

Wonderful storytelling. Beautiful use of English. The reader is brought right into the mood and time of a small village in Ireland, long since passed. Great character description, and stories of human resilience.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for holly bird
  • holly bird
  • 25-07-2020

Irish and Irish and then some more. Perfect!

I have just finished listening to "This is Happiness" and want to start it all over again. Just utter perfection in writing. Each sentence is overwhelming beautiful in description and measure. By the end, I just wanted to be in Fahy, with all its characterful inhabitants, with the fiddle music and the newly installed lightbulbs glowing in the rain.

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.