I think this was the first near miss of a week in the project so far. Not bad, considering I am past the halfway mark. It should be smooth sailing from this point on, right? I should have this whole book-a-week thing down to a science! Not so, dear readers. Not so.

I started the week fully intending to read a certain book that, try as I might, I could not get into. After five days of scratching at the surface of this book, something had to be done. So last night at 5:30 p.m., I made an executive decision. I dumped the once-intended book and headed over to the local neighborhood bookstore to pick up a gift for a friend and hoped to find a workable replacement.

I established just two requirements: It needed to be slender in size and of a subject matter that was easily consumed in less than six hours (not counting sleep and some errands I had to run was all I had until the kiddo came home and I was back on full-time Mommy duty). I know, my options where whittled down between slim and none. Imagine my delight, however, when I came across the very thin spine of this lovely little number with the whimsical cover design and super cute title font. Shallow, I know. But, hey, what’s a girl on a mission (and a rapidly approaching deadline) to do?

Well, this girl read the back cover and snatched this little beauty right up! And she can tell you that judging this sweet little book by its cover worked out like a gem because not only did she finish HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS just in the nick of time, but she found it utterly charming! Okay, enough with the third person weirdness.

HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS is French psychiatrist Francois Lelord’s child-like fable about a fictional psychiatrist Hector’s concern with the amount of unhappiness he sees in his patients. So concerned is Hector, that he sets out on a tour of China, Africa and the U.S. (which is never named and only described as “the country of More”) to try and understand what it is that makes people happy in hopes that he can better help his own patients. It is through conversations and experiences with his international friends–and strangers he meets along the way– that he is able to glean a handful of nuggets about happiness.

While written as a fable, HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS is not a children’s book. Hector encounters real issues faced by adults everywhere, himself included. I found the simplistic style endearing and it made the book work. At the end of the day, many of the things that make us happy aren’t earth-shattering discoveries. They are simple things like being with the ones we love. They are things that, when we allow ourselves to live in the moment, jump out and come into full color and clear focus.

And stay tuned for more Hector. I have just learned that this is the first of a series of Hector books that are soon coming to America!

Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 192