Happiness by Aminatta Forna

When a friend recommended this book to me she said it was about urban foxes in London. “Is it a novel?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied. So I got the book and read it and I am so happy I did.

It is indeed about urban foxes in London. The protagonist, Jean, is an American doing research in London. In the course of her wanderings to find the foxes she meets a Ghanaian psychologist named Attila. Attila is a highly regarded international expert on trauma among immigrants, refugees, and war victims. Their two lives intersect in interesting and revealing ways. One learns not only about urban wildlife in the Unites States and in London, but also about the ongoing struggles of immigrant/refugee populations worldwide and the trauma experienced in their families as well. At the end of the book there is a lecture by Attila that is worthy of further thought and conversation about the ways we make assumptions about the experiences of others.

This a really good book, and I highly recommend it! Here also is a good essay by the author about not labeling or making assumptions: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/13/aminatta-forna-dont-judge-book-by-cover

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