July 2009 Indie Next List
“Rafael Yglesias tells the story of Enrique and Margaret Sabas, who is dying from cancer. The novel unfolds as we see her planning her goodbyes and death interspersed with the story of their courtship and long marriage. The novel captures the maturing of feelings, the issues around sex, and the frustrations of parenthood in such a way that I was riveted, entranced, and moved to -- and sometimes beyond -- tears. Absolutely brilliant.”
— Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO
Winter 2011 Reading Group List
“A Happy Marriage is deeply honest, intricately observed, and moving beyond words. In alternating the chapters between Enrique and Margaret's courtship and eventual marriage and the final days of Margaret's life, Yglesias shows the complexity of the relationship and the totality of what is lost with Margaret's fatal illness. Enrique's fears, foibles, and insecurities at the outset of their courtship are brilliantly set against the character he is forced to muster as he helps his wife die with dignity, on her own terms, and in her own home. This is a novel in which every emotion, character, and situation rings true.”
— Mark LaFramboise, Politics & Prose Books &, Washington, DC
Both intimate and expansive, Rafael Yglesias' autobiographical new novel is the story of the relationship between Enrique Sabas and his wife, Margaret. Spanning thirty years, the novel alternates between the romantic misadventures of the first weeks of their courtship and the final months of Margaret's life as she says good-bye to her family, friends, and children--and to Enrique. Inspired by the author's own marriage to his wife who died in 2004, this achingly honest story is about what it means for two people to spend a lifetime together--and what makes a happy marriage. Bold, elegiac, and emotionally suspenseful, Yglesias' beautiful novel will break every reader's heart, while encouraging all of us with its clear-eyed evocation of the enduring value of marriage.