I Married You For Happiness

I Married You For Happiness

by Lily Tuck


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“His hand is growing cold, still she holds it,” is how this riveting, deeply moving story of a forty-three year old marriage by National Book Award winner Lily Tuck begins. Unfolding over a single night, Nina sits at the bedside of her husband, Philip, whose sudden and unexpected death is the reason for her lonely vigil. Too shocked yet to grieve, she lets herself remember the defining moments of their long marriage, beginning with their first meeting in Paris. She is an artist, he a highly accomplished mathematician—it was a collision of two different worlds that merged to form an intricate and passionate love.

Slender, powerful, and utterly engaging, I Married You For Happiness is not only an elegant elegy to a man and a marriage, but also a meditation on the theory of probability and how chance can affect both a life and one’s consideration of an afterlife.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802145918
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/11/2012
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Born in Paris, Lily Tuck is the author of four previous novels: Interviewing Matisse or the Woman Who Died Standing Up, The Woman Who Walked on Water, Siam, or the Woman Who Shot a Man, which was nominated for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and The News From Paraguay, winner of the National Book Award. She is also the author of the biography, Woman of Rome, A Life of Elsa Morante. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, and are collected in Limbo, or Other Places I Have Lived. She divides her time between Maine and New York City.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

October 10, 1939

Place of Birth:

Paris, France


B.A., Radcliffe (Harvard); M.A., Sorbonne, Paris

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I Married You for Happiness 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
dmullally on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hated the title, loved the book
arkgirl1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wife holds her husband's hand, he has died suddenly from an heart attack and she needs time to say goodbye. Nina and Philip [or Nin and Phi i as it appropriately says on her worn wedding ring] have been married for 43 years and this book consists of a flit through memories of Nina's life with Philip as she keeps her overnight vigil by his bed. The memories are random and you don't always know the exact chronology, she is a cultured lady and they have spent much of their life in Europe so there are several quotes in French [and a few in Italian] that are not translated [this might frustrate non-linguists], but both the time and changing language fit with the haphazard connecting of remembrances over a life together.Philip is a mathematician and incredibly passionate about the subject; there is much sharing of concepts and ideas that surprisingly seem to have stuck in Nina's head despite the fact that she sometimes seems to be glazing over listening to them. If you are someone who struggles with maths you can still enjoy this book and just skim through these bits as there is much else to enjoy, it is almost poetic in style and there is something very visual with the vignettes described from their first meeting in a french cafe onwards.Nina's art is not explored and shared in as much detail but there are glimpses of her work but if she obsesses about anything it is about the possibility of Philip's 'betraying' her - she seems to have a very jealous streak and this provides one of the most amusing scenes at Philip's work!Their relationship with their only daughter, Louise, is also woven into her reminiscences and the fact that she doesn't yet know of her father's death and thus is 'still alive' in her world links in with some of the concepts explored in Philip's work.It isn't a long read but much is packed in and if you want a beautifully written essay on the 'ups and downs' of a working marriage this is well worth a look but some may find the ending a little abrupt and too ambigious.
nicx27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nina is sitting in vigil by the bedside of her dead husband, Philip. He came in from work, said he was going for a lie down, and never got up again. Nina spends the night thinking back over their life together.This is a short book, less than 200 pages, and although there are no chapters, the book consists of lots of short memories really. This makes it a very quick and easy read. I thought it was a good idea for a story, and I did think it was a decent read, but it was completely lacking in emotion and, given the subject matter, I would have hoped to come away from the book having felt more empathy with the main character.I think this is worth a read, and it was a good look back over a marriage, but ultimately I came away feeling a little bit dissatisfied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
my book club thought this very good. The NOOK edition had MANY TYPOS/GARBLED TEXT which were extremely distracting.