Our selection this month is Angie Kim’s sophomore novel, Happiness Falls. It’s narrated by Mia, a whip smart college student who moves back under her parents’ roof during the early days of COVID. This isn’t a pandemic novel, though, as much as lockdown is used as a device to bring everyone together and move the plot forward.
One day, Mia’s younger brother Eugene, a teenager with autism who doesn’t speak, shows up at home after a walk without his dad, Adam. No one knows where Adam went, and no one can believe he’d desert his family. As the family investigates, they learn Adam was keeping a number of secrets, some of which have astounding repercussions for everyone.
We talk to the author about writing a propulsive plot that also deals with big ideas, like disability, ableism, and the immigrant experience. Read along with us and send a voice memo with your thoughts to NerdettePodcast@gmail.com! We’ll be back the last Tuesday of the month for a spoiler-filled conversation with two guest readers.