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The Happiness of Kati

The Happiness of Kati

Author(s): Jane Vejjajiva

Location(s): Thailand

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): early 21st century

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Nine-year-old Kati has always lived with her grandparents in the house by the river. Every day she goes to school, brings offerings to the monks, and plays with Tong, the abbot’s nephew. She is happy enough, but something — “someone” — is missing. Kati has not seen her mother for nearly five years, and no one will tell her where she is, until the day she receives some shocking news from Grandmother: Her mother is very ill with Lou Gehrig’s disease and has suffered from it for many years. Would Kati like to go see her?

And so Kati travels to the house by the sea to spend the last weeks of her mother’s life with her. There she learns the reason why her mother gave her up and also finds that she has a decision…to meet the father she’s never known.

A singular story of love, hope, and renewal, set against the lushly exotic background of Thailand, “The Happiness of Kati” is a profoundly touching novel that reminds us of how very brave, and very wise, children can be.

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