A Matter of Happiness, a review by Di

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A MATTER OF HAPPINESS
Tori Whitaker

Lake Union Publishing
Nov 8, 2022
359 pages

Goodreads | Amazon

This is a story with 2 timelines. The first is in the 1920s, starring Violet. The second one takes place in 2018, starring Melanie. Violet is Melanie’s great great aunt who has passed away before the book even started. The two of them had been very close when Melanie was a young girl.

In the two timelines, Violet and Melanie are both strong women who are determined to make their way in the world. Neither one wants the support of a man, both want to be dependent only on themselves. Violet has a tougher time because she’s living her life at a time when a woman’s place was in the home with a husband and children. But, they each have challenges. And, they each make choices. As usually happens, choices have consequences.

This book was an interesting study of human character. Strong women make choices but, something gets sacrificed after the choices are made. Sometimes what you think you want, really does not make you happy.

The author did a lot of research to fine tune this story. The 1920s storyline had details of the Jazz Era, dances popular at the time, segregation, prohibition and lifestyle. The current story had a lot of facts about the bourbon industry and alcohol production, in contrast to Prohibition. In my mind, there is always room to learn something.

The storyline that took place in the past was much more engaging. I would have been satisfied to stay in that storyline with more embellishments. The middle part of the book slowed a bit but then picked up considerably at the end. It was a satisfying and interesting read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an Advance Readers Copy.

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