This Particular Happiness

THIS PARTICULAR HAPPINESS: A CHILDLESS LOVE STORY (Fall, 2019 from Forest Avenue Press) explores our most intimate conflicts and desires—about relationships, parenthood, and what makes a life meaningful.

Raised in rural Oregon in the 1960s, Jackie Shannon Hollis grew up playing “house” with baby dolls, riding horses and tending to baby kittens and lambs on her family’s ranch. Other than her great Aunt Lena, all of the women in Jackie’s life were mothers—of two, three, five, eight children. They cooked and baked, cleaned and washed, knitted and sewed, and they taught their daughters to do the same. Above all else, they were mothers.  Jackie assumed she’d become a mother too. It’s just what women did.

In her late 20s, after several failed relationships, Jackie finds herself in love with a man who does not want children. She marries him, certain she can be happy with a childless life. But just months into her marriage, she holds her sister’s baby girl and sinks deep into baby love and longing.

In THIS PARTICULAR HAPPINESS Jackie explores the conflict at the heart of her marriage, examining her reasons for wanting a child and her husband’s reasons for not wanting one, as they navigate the volatile terrain of deciding on their future together.