Title: Please Enjoy Your Happiness
Author: Paul Brinkley-Rogers
Part of a series? No.
Published: Goodreads says it came out in January but Netgalley has it down for August 2nd, 2016.
This is a story of coming of age during as a sailor in the navy. It is about growing up, learning to question, to think and to react accordingly. It is an unlikely (and very chaste) love story, and a story of pain and loss. It is music and happiness, pride and pleasure. And it is all true.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Touchstone Publishing for the chance to read this book. I was riveted from the beginning! This memoir is written like a one sided conversation sprinkled with songs, poetry, letters and memories. Paul begins this book in Japan on shore leave from his boat The Shangri-La. Sitting on his own in a sake bar reading, he is surprised when one of the hostesses come to ask what he is reading. Thus begins the great love affair between nineteen year old Paul and thirty-one year old Yukiko- bar girl, intellectual, avid reader, dreamer, romantic runaway.
She is like no one else he ever met and over the summer the two spend time together talking literature, watching movies, and listening to music. She opens his mind to a cast of characters through Japan and China that I doubt a sailor would otherwise find; and helps him grow to manhood along the way. Letter after letter talking about how happy Paul made her, how she loved him, how he set her free… he keeps them all long after the Shangri-La is back in America. This is a story of a love of the heart and the mind, of the spirit.
In his seventies now and divorced with grown children, Paul still remembers that certain girl and loves her as wildly as he did then. God, what must that be like? How amazingly heartfelt and lyrical his words to his lost love. Hiding nothing, he leaves himself completely bare as he speaks of that summer and some time after. He had gone back to Japan, getting re-stationed in hopes of finding her, but by then she was gone. Searches do nothing, and so Please Enjoy Your Happiness reads like a final effort to find that certain girl and express a love that never ends. Seriously, I cannot recommend this book enough. I am in tatters… I am hopeful…. I am enjoying my happiness.
As far as the Adult Content Scale goes, it takes place during a war. There is violence, cursing and the illusion to intimacy (not the couple you think)-though that is done with great delicacy.
The book comes out in August…. Lord knows I will be buying several copies for family and friends over time.
Link to Book: