When a man discovers his father in New York has long had another, secret, family–a wife and two kids–the interlocking fates of both families lead to surprise loyalties, love triangles, and a reservoir of inner strength.
Ethan, a young gay man in New York, learns that his father has long had a second family–a Thai wife and two kids living in Queens. In the aftermath of this revelation, Ethan’s mother spends a year working abroad, returning much changed, just as her now ex-husband falls ill. Across town, Ethan’s half-brothers are caught in their own complicated familial journeys: one brother’s penchant for minor delinquency has escalated and the other must travel to Bangkok to bail him out, while the bargains their mother struck about love and money continue to shape all their lives.
As Ethan finds himself caught in a love triangle of his own, the interwoven fates of these two households elegantly unfurls to reveal secret currents of empathy and loyalty, the bounty of improvised families, and the paradoxical ties that give life its rich contours. With a generous spirit and evocative, sparse prose, Secrets of Happiness elucidates the myriad ways people marshal all the resources at hand in an effort to find happiness.