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Fiction featuring Care Experience

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Secrets of Happiness

Joan Silber


Secrets of Happiness (2021) by Joan Silber is an exploration of the search for happiness by multiple characters linked (albeit tenuously in some cases) to a man who travels regularly to Asia to supervise the manufacture of underwear for women.

This man, we find out, has 2 families living in close proximity to each other in Manhattan.

Everything changes when Family 1 finds out about Family 2 (the mother of the 2nd family is the hostess at a Thai restaurant Family 1 frequent).

Ethan from Family 1 narrates the first and final chapters.

Joe from Family 2 narrates the second chapter and that’s when we find out his younger brother, Jack, is sent off at age 15 to Thailand to live with an aunt because his mother is concerned about who he is hanging out with.

Towards the end of the book, we discover that Nadia has been living (since she was 11) in an informal foster care arrangement with dad’s former girlfriend.

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