A Good and Happy Child

A Good and Happy Child

A Novel

Book - 2007 | First paperback edition.
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A young man reexamines his childhood memories of strange visions and erratic behavior to answer disturbing questions that continue to haunt him and his new family in this psychological thriller named a Washington Post best book of 2007.

Thirty-year-old George Davies can't bring himself to hold his newborn son. After months of accepting his lame excuses and strange behavior, his wife has had enough. She demands that he see a therapist, and George, desperate to save his unraveling marriage and redeem himself as a father and husband, reluctantly agrees.

As he delves into his childhood memories, he begins to recall things he hasn't thought of in twenty years. Events, people, and strange situations come rushing back. The odd, rambling letters his father sent home before he died. The jovial mother who started dating too soon after his father's death. A boy who appeared one night when George was lonely, then told him secrets he didn't want to know. How no one believed this new friend was real and that he was responsible for the bad things that were happening.

Terrified by all that he has forgotten, George struggles to remember what really happened in the months following his father's death. Were his ominous visions and erratic behavior the product of a grief-stricken child's overactive imagination? Or were his father's colleagues, who blamed a darker, more malevolent force, right to look to the supernatural as a means to end George's suffering? Twenty years later, George still does not know. But when a mysterious murder is revealed, remembering the past becomes the only way George can protect himself--and his young family.

A psychological thriller in the tradition of Donna Tartt's The Secret History-- with shades of The Exorcist -- A Good and Happy Child leaves you questioning the things you remember and frightened of the things you've forgotten.

"Beautifully written and perfectly structured. . . . This novel is much more than The Omen for the latte generation, and Evans cleverly subverts expectations at every turn." -Washington Post

"[A] satisfying, suspenseful first novel. . . . Young George's intriguing story unbalances the reader right up to the book's deliciously chilling end."

"A scary, grown-up ghost story that combines Southern gothic with more than a twist of The Exorcist . . . . Combine[s] mind-bending storytelling with excellent prose."
--Portland Tribune

"Think Rosemary's Baby--plus . . . told in the kind of prose that mesmerizes, sweeping the reader along so fast that there's no time to ask questions."
--Hartford Courant

"[A] dazzling debut . . . part psychological thriller, part horror story."
--Chicago Tribune

"Relat[es] his otherworldly suspense story with the cool, calm eye of a skeptic."
--Entertainment Weekly (A--)

Publisher: New York : Three Rivers Press, [2007]
Edition: First paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9780307351289
Branch Call Number: EVA
Characteristics: 322 pages.


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Aug 22, 2013

Aug 2013...just spied it in the library while shelving books. A horror/mystery type? Just looks interesting.

Mar 27, 2012

This book was dreadful. I almost gave up at the beginning but I gave it a chance. Almost gave up in the middle, hoping it would turn for the better. Almost gave up at the end but persevered in hopes of a great twist at the end. But it was just bleak and uninspired the whole way through, and really quite a struggle to care enough about any of the characters to finish.

Jul 05, 2011

I love all the Hamlet references but don't worry if you haven't read Hamlet... Wait, if you haven't read Hamlet, what are you doing looking at this book? Go read Hamlet. Anyway, A Good and Happy Child is a very engaging book that might keep you up past your bedtime. It is arguably either psychological fiction or horror (or both) depending on which character you want to believe. Also, it deals with demonic possession without getting into any annoying religious arguments. The ending could have been better foreshadowed, but it worked well enough.

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