The End of Happiness by Paul Martin
In The End of Happiness, Paul Martin, an English psychiatrist and behavioral biologist, takes on the subject of happiness and its pursuit. In an accessible style, he tackles the topic in a way that anyone can understand. He focuses on the importance of raising happy children and discusses the causes and consequences of loneliness. Whether we find it true or not, we can’t avoid the resulting sadness. This is a book that should be on your nightstand or your coffee table.
In The End of Happiness, Martin focuses on how we can achieve happiness through our relationships. He argues that we should focus on quality over quantity in all of our relationships. His chapter on “snares and delusions” attacks mindless pleasure and suggests that we focus on little pleasures every day. Benjamin Franklin cautioned against the over-indulgence of great pieces of good fortune. The secret to happiness lies in the small advantages we enjoy every day.
In the final chapter of The End of Happiness, Forna pushes back against the stereotype of a ‘nameless’ African. While the author doesn’t mention any particular African in the novel, she does reveal a rich and diverse cast of characters. These people add layers to the story about London’s immigrants. James, Komba, Abdul, and Ayo are among the many characters that Forna introduces.