Fausto Brizzi’s novel “100 Days of Happiness” tells how one Italian man deals with news that he has only three months left to live.
“100 Days of Happiness”
by Fausto Brizzi
Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, 368 pp., $27.95
Italian director, screenwriter and film producer Fausto Brizzi adds “author” to his list of credits with “100 Days of Happiness.” In this novel, Brizzi encourages readers to take stock, tackling tough questions about the realities of life, love and reconciliation.
What would you do if you had only three months to live? Lucio Battistini asks himself this question when he learns he has inoperable cancer. This devastating news sends Lucio into a tailspin of emotions. He’s determined to combat depression with a to-do list. Instead of spending his final days in a cloud of sadness, Lucio focuses on living life to the fullest.
His first order of business is to reconnect with his children. Their interests become his interests. Suddenly he is overwhelmed with the desire to teach his young son and daughter important skills and life lessons. Their joy in laughing and learning with him is balm to his heart.
The support and dedication of his father-in-law and two best friends become an integral part of his 100-day challenge. (Lucio was unfaithful to his wife and now lives in the back of his father-in-law’s pastry shop.) The men provide wise counsel, adventure and warm, sugary doughnuts with each tick of the clock. More than anything, they help Lucio figure out how to get his wife to forgive him.
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“100 Days of Happiness” chronicles how one man looks back on his life and attempts to right many wrongs before the sands of time run out. Brizzi’s narrative challenges us to consider putting ourselves in the same scenario. What matters most? And will it take a fatal illness to make each moment count?