The Secret (of Happiness): An Offbeat Fairytale-Thriller
by Demosthenes Armeniades
Release Date: July 1st, 2010
2010 Tinseltown Press
Softcover Edition; 466 Pages
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
5 / 5 Stars
Max the billionaire invited David to his private island where whiz kid golden boys zip around the globe in private jets making millions and living the dream. But all may not be as golden as it seems...Max wants happiness. David wants his girlfriend back. Marcie wants to avoid getting fired from her cashier job at Wal-Mart. And the guru knows the answers, or does he? Follow them on a wild roller coaster ride through offshore paradises, out to space, over the Himalayas, across the Russian tundra and through an evolutionary quantum shift to a final showdown in the Texas desert.
When I first started reading The Secret of Happiness, I really did not know what to expect. The principal character, David Finnegan, is approached by a man and offered the job of a lifetime on a dream island, making more money than he ever expected, and on impulse, he accepts. Unfortunately, he forgot to consult his long-time girlfriend, Dot, who is not exactly pleased with his decision. David then settles in as the new "golden boy" who makes his boss millions of dollars on his first day of work. And I thought the novel would be about this group of whizzes who spend their time making money, come up against a few obstacles (such as running for their lives as they somehow broke the law, or someone is after them), and they would spend the rest of the book trying to save themselves. Boy, was I ever wrong!!!! The book was, and not very simply either, about finding the key to one's happiness in life.
The plot was complex, thrilling, full of adventures, twists, and turns, where I didn't know what was going to happen from one event to another. It was unpredictable and exciting. And I enjoyed it tremendously as it was definitely not what I was expecting. I love it when a plot can take something so simple and turn it into something so complex, yet in the end, the message was so clear.
David is such a likeable guy, really down-to-earth, which is probably why Max, who is suffering from the loneliness of a lack of friends and a dissolving marriage, asks David to help him find the secret to happiness. David agrees to help Max, but nothing works, and as he is getting desperate as his job is on the line, he stumbles upon a corrupt lawyer who can help him, and suddenly everything goes badly for Max. I spent a large part of the book hoping David was still a good guy, and still doing his job as he is such an interesting and likeable character. In fact, all of the characters in this book were fun and enjoyable to read about, all with interesting personalities and quirks.
I really enjoyed reading The Secret of Happiness and it was hard to put down. Mr. Armeniades weaves a fascinating story about life and the secret to living life to the fullest and how money is not the most important thing in the world. It is very philosophical and really makes you think about your own life and what you are doing to make yourself and others happy. I would love to read more of Mr. Armeniades' work in the future.