Apr 032015

Cover for The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft.Library Journal: VERDICT: Craft’s second novel (after 2014’sThe Art of Falling), this title is based on the author’s experience with a standoff involving her husband, which adds real, raw, emotion to the plot. Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning. Ronnie Farnham is divorcing her husband, Jeff. She is tracking his excessive credit card spending; he is noting her numerous phone calls to Kevin, a man she is featuring in one of her freelance articles. On the day Jeff says he will move out of their Pennsylvania farmhouse, he gets drunk, grabs a shotgun, and holes up in their vegetable market. When police remove Ronnie and her two young sons from their home, they are placed at the local firefighters’ social hall for 12 hours until the standoff ends. The story unfolds with internal dialogs from ­Ronnie; her mother, Beverly; and Janet, Jeff’s mom. Conversations among the women reveal family secrets. Hour by hour they try to understand why Jeff is threatening to kill himself.