Book review: How to Be Good

by Virginia Gómez Tejerina

How to be Good? It could be one of those difficult questions, but have you ever tried to answer it? This book, written by British author Nick Hornby, invites you to make a reflection on the nature of happiness and kindness in the world today.

The story is narrated by Katie, on her thirties, who is wife and mother of two children: Tom and Molly. Katie works as a doctor in a North London clinic, while her husband, David, writes a newspaper column, called The Angriest Man in Holloway. At first, the notion she has about herself is that she is a good person, at least she tries to, but at the same time she is really unhappy, her husband is that kind of cynical, sarcastic, ironic and angry person, so they are far from being a happy marriage. Because of her work, she is forced to travel to some conferences, but one day, in one of them, she has a romance with a younger man, and from that moment everything changes: she wants the divorce, she has to lie to her children,… And that’s not all; her husband, during this bad moment in his life, goes to a healer, GoodNews, who changes him into a new David, the one Katie has always wanted him to be: kind and open. The extreme goodness of the new David makes her take the role of cynical. So the roles, in the end, have completely changed.

This book is a good way to make you think about things or characteristics that a good person should have, and about how difficult being a happy and a good one is . The main disadvantage is that it doesn’t give any key to happiness, something which is difficult to find because we always want more and more, and this makes us unhappy.

To sum up, I don’t really like this book; I prefer other kind of stories, more fantastic and romantic, in which I can find an escape from the real world. But I have been searching for some reviews of the novel , and they are all positive, so you may like it and think the same as those ones. Would you like to try? I’m looking forward to your comments.


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