Happiness Falls (Good Morning America Book Club): A Novel (Hardcover)
A father goes missing and the only witness is his non-verbal, special needs son. This is a family/drama/thriller that hooks you from the start and rockets along. A “tornado of a book” (New York Times) that addresses serious questions about the nature of happiness and the misunderstanding of neurodivergent people. My new favorite thriller.— Eve
September 2023 Indie Next List
“A fantastic blend of suspense, family relationships, and medical drama makes this book a winner. Mia is an utterly engaging narrator, and the plot twists will leave readers guessing until the final pages.”
— Sarah Rettger, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • When a father goes missing, his family’s desperate search leads them to question everything they know about him and one another in this thrilling page-turner, a deeply moving portrait of a family in crisis from the award-winning author of Miracle Creek.
Belletrist Book Club Pick • Finalist for the New American Voices Award • “This is a story with so many twists and turns I was riveted through the last page.”—Jodi Picoult
One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Season: The New York Times • Los Angeles Times • Oprah Quarterly • Time • St. Louis Post Dispatch • Lit Hub • Publishers Weekly • CrimeReads • ABC News • USA Today
“A brilliant, satisfying, compassionate mystery that is as much about language and storytelling as it is about a missing father. I loved this book.”—Gabrielle Zevin, author of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
“I fell in love with the fascinating, brilliant family at the center of this riveting book.”—Ann Napolitano, author of Hello Beautiful
“We didn’t call the police right away.” Those are the electric first words of this extraordinary novel about a biracial Korean American family in Virginia whose lives are upended when their beloved father and husband goes missing.
Mia, the irreverent, hyperanalytical twenty-year-old daughter, has an explanation for everything—which is why she isn’t initially concerned when her father and younger brother Eugene don’t return from a walk in a nearby park. They must have lost their phone. Or stopped for an errand somewhere. But by the time Mia’s brother runs through the front door bloody and alone, it becomes clear that the father in this tight-knit family is missing and the only witness is Eugene, who has the rare genetic condition Angelman syndrome and cannot speak.
What follows is both a ticking-clock investigation into the whereabouts of a father and an emotionally rich portrait of a family whose most personal secrets just may be at the heart of his disappearance. Full of shocking twists and fascinating questions of love, language, and human connection, Happiness Falls is a mystery, a family drama, and a novel of profound philosophical inquiry. With all the powerful storytelling she brought to her award-winning debut, Miracle Creek, Angie Kim turns the missing-person story into something wholly original, creating an indelible tale of a family who must go to remarkable lengths to truly understand one another.
About the Author
Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the suburbs of Baltimore. After graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy, she studied philosophy at Stanford University and attended Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her debut novel, Miracle Creek, won the Edgar Award, the ITW Thriller Award, the Strand Critics’ Award, and the Pinckley Prize and was named one of the best books of the year by Time, The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, and the Today show. Angie Kim lives in northern Virginia with her family.
“This riveting missing-person thriller is really a meditation on happiness that illuminates the power of language and challenges readers’ stereotypes.”—People (Book of the Week)
“One of the smartest, most multi-layered mysteries of the year . . . Deftly crafted and truly riveting, this novel about heartache and hope, the author’s second, proves Kim is a powerful voice that’s here to stay.”—The Boston Globe
“Angie Kim’s powerhouse of a novel offers a probing exploration of the intersection of communication, speech and intelligence that not only gives voice to a silenced population but concludes with a fantastic twist.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A riveting, suspenseful read that doubles as a nuanced family tale.”—Elle
“[A] deliciously brainy new thriller . . . Happiness Falls dares to unlock the enigma of love at the molecular level while serving up a page-turner.”—The Washington Post
“Both a page-turner and a meditation on a family in crisis . . . full of gorgeous writing, surprising twists, and personal secrets.”—USA Today
“With unexpected humor and aching tenderness, the bestselling author of Miracle Creek forces us to reckon with our definitions of family, ability, and happiness.”—Oprah Quarterly
“Kim uses the parallel investigations of police and family to explore the complex dynamics of interracial marriage, Asian and biracial identity in America, and the nuances of raising a child with special needs. You’ll want to savor every word as Kim plunges the depths of human action and finds love at the center.”—CrimeReads
“A brilliant novel that has everything I want in fiction—great writing, fascinating characters, suspenseful storytelling, and thought-provoking themes. Readers are going to fall in love with Happiness Falls.”—Imbolo Mbue, author of How Beautiful We Were
“I read Happiness Falls in a single day. I can’t remember a book with more layers—this is a nuanced story about bias, language, ableism, racism, and family dynamics—but above all else this is a story with so many twists and turns I was riveted through the last page.”—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Happiness Falls is another superlative effort in what is fast shaping up to be a remarkable career.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci
“Brilliant . . . amazing . . . the claim that a book will change your life often seems like exaggeration. Here the potential is real.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A philosophical family drama that is as page-turning as it is thought-provoking. Book groups will find much to discuss here, especially those who like Celeste Ng.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A sublime literary mystery that is a mesmerizing update to the missing person story, a layered and innovative exploration of family, love, happiness, and race.”—Jean Kwok, author of Searching for Sylvie Lee
“[A] revelatory masterpiece . . . I stayed up half the night to finish this novel, and when I woke in the morning, I turned back to the first page to begin again.”—Anthony Marra, author of Mercury Pictures Presents
“I began reading Happiness Falls expecting a murder mystery. What I got was the most moving and humbling portrait of humanity I’ve read in quite some time.”—Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes
“Brilliant, immersive, and deeply moving . . . a book that will change the way you think—a book that will change your life.”—Julia Phillips, author of Disappearing Earth
“Happiness Falls . . . keeps you thinking and guessing and feeling all at the same time.”—Liz Moore, author of Long Bright River
“[A] page-turner about a missing man and a precise (and luminous) exploration of what it’s like to be the teens he has left behind.”—Chris Bohjalian, author of The Lioness
“Kim is a tremendous writer . . . a compelling mystery as well as a guide to managing the uncertainties of life and the challenges of family.”—Steph Cha, author of Your House Will Pay
“One of best mystery novels ever written.”—Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends
“An exhilarating literary tour de force . . . [Happiness Falls] will introduce you to extraordinary characters whose lives will leave you forever changed.”—Danielle Trussoni, author of The Puzzle Master
“Happiness Falls is on the one hand a profound meditation on the meaning of life and the nature of happiness, while on the other hand a riveting mystery replete with suspense.”—Chris Pavone, author of Two Nights in Lisbon
“This book will stay with you long after you turn the final, satisfying page.”—Alafair Burke, author of Find Me
“[A] rare book that can change your entire outlook on the world.”—Janelle Brown, author of Pretty Things