Happiness - Aminatta Forna
2018, 320 pages
Distracted by a fox, two pedestrians collide on Waterloo Bridge. These are the main characters in Forna’s latest novel: Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist specialising in trauma, and Jean, an American wildlife biologist studying the habits of urban foxes.
Attila is in London to deliver a keynote speech and to contact his immigrant niece, who has not called home for a while. Eventually it turns out that Tano, his niece’s young son, is missing. When Attila and Jean meet again by chance, she uses her network of volunteer fox spotters to help with the search. As the quest continues, an unusual friendship between Attila and Jean develops.
This book tells a story of migration, loneliness and connection between people and animals and depicts a wonderful portrait of London and its inhabitants. Forna’s novel is a slow-paced and satisfying novel, full of modern-day issues and observations.