Summary from Goodreads:
Twelve tense hours, three women, and the suicide standoff that turns one family’s little piece of heaven into a scene from hell
After enduring years of a struggling marriage, Ronnie Farnham has decided to divorce her husband and is beginning to hope for a happy future–until the morning Jeff is supposed to move out, when he locks himself in their barn with a rifle.
When a massive police presence arrives to control the 12-hour stand off, the women in Jeff’s life are pushed to their breaking points. Based on the author’s harrowing personal story, The Far End of Happy is a powerful novel about the way one man’s spiral towards life’s violent conclusion tests the resolve, love, and hope of the women he will leave behind.
Kathryn Craft’s latest book, THE FAR END OF HAPPY, will be in stores May 5th. While technically fiction, Kathryn is telling a story that has deep roots in fact- the story is based on her life with her husband- and how their life changed drastically and dramatically one day.
With high praise from authors such as Mary Kubica and Lori N. Spielman- THE FAR END OF HAPPY will be a book that book clubs will love to discuss!
Excerpt from The Far End of Happy:
Ronnie already wanted to rewrite this story. To edit the cop’s words. To distance herself, change “husband” to “the man.” The man now staggering around the property with a gun; the man who may already have taken a shot; the man whose angst was seeping into her own nerves. Her husband—the gentle soul she’d married—would never have acted like the man she’d engaged with earlier today.
“Call him Jeff, please,” she said quietly.
“I’m going to need you to recount all that transpired this morning with your—” He caught himself. “With Jeff. Leave nothing out. You never know what will be important.”
The recitation she gave was devoid of animation. She felt empty and prickly, like an October cornfield in need of nutrients and a long, restorative winter. An evacuation from her home, beneath the cover of a helicopter dispatched from the state capitol, to protect her from her own husband? Ronnie felt as if her family had suddenly been thrust into an unwanted audition for a high-stakes reality show. Every few moments, as she delivered facts, she looked over at her mother, who was speaking quietly to Janet. She wondered if Beverly’s version differed. If her mother, or Jeff’s, blamed her. Because to them, and the rest of the world, it must look as if Jeff had been knocked off balance because Ronnie had decided to leave him.
It even looked that way to her.
The officer told Ronnie their primary goal was to locate Jeff, since he was armed and dangerous.
“Please don’t say that in front of his mother,” she said. “Or the boys. Jeff isn’t a dangerous person. He’s sweet. Everyone would tell you how nice he is. Very laid back.” Too laid back. He never cared enough. “It’s just that we’re getting a divorce, and today was the day he promised to move out. He’s…” Drunk off his ass. “Agitated.”
Ronnie rubbed her arms—the room suddenly chilled her. She hadn’t thought to grab a jacket. The room’s narrow, high-set windows, made of glass bricks, were meant to obscure natural light. This was a room designed to allow sparkles from a mirror ball, gropes in the shadows.
And so what? She was cold. She felt selfish thinking about it, with Jeff frozen all the way to the center of his soul.
“Could you give me a physical description of your husband so we can identify him by sight?”
All that she and Jeff had meant to each other, all the intricacies of their marriage, boiled down to the same physical attributes that had first attracted her to him. “Five foot ten. Dark brown hair, thick, trimmed over ears some might call large.” Soft ears that lay flat against his head beneath her kisses. “Blue eyes.” Eyes that used to pierce her through with their naked honesty. “Broad hands.” Strong hands that always needed a project, now wrapped around a gun.
About the author, Kathryn Craft:
Kathryn Craft, a former dance critic who wrote for The Morning Call daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for nineteen years. Craft wrote exclusively nonfiction until she was plunged in the kind of real-life drama that demands attention. In 1997, after fifteen years of marriage, her husband committed suicide in a police standoff, leaving her and their two young sons.
The Far End of Happy was born from Craft’s need to make sense of what her husband had done. Kathryn has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is also the author of The Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Watch the trailer: THE FAR END OF HAPPY.
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