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An Archive of Happiness

Elizabeth Reeder

"A big-hearted, intricate and compelling novel: it is as robust and delicate as the landscapes it inhabits."

Jenn Ashworth
longlisted for the 2020 highland book prize

An Archive of Happiness is set in the Scottish Highlands over the course of one day during the Avens family’s annual get-together.

It’s the summer solstice and theirs is a fractured family, broken by arguments, by things said and not said, by a mother who has left and a father who was left behind. What happens on this day will force them to cleave together to survive and redraw the traditional bonds of family.


Our price £9.99
RRP £9.99
324 pages
ISBN 9781908058775
Published 15 September 2020
Cover design: Liam Relph


This is such a big-hearted, intricate and compelling novel: it is as robust and delicate as the landscapes it inhabits. Reeder tells a story of loss, fracture and repair, every sentence infused with both clear-sightedness and love.
Jenn Ashworth

This is a wonderful book. Tender and insightful on the love and tensions on one crucial day in the life of a family.
Sophie Ward

Knocked out cold by Elizabeth Reeder’s An Archive Of Happiness, a magnetic storm cycle of a novel. Nettle-stung family epic.
Margot Douaihy

An Archive of Happiness is a poignant, multi-layered exploration of family relationships brilliantly revealed. A haunting story told in exquisite prose.
Ruth Hogan

Lyrical prose, with delicately beautiful descriptions that leave the senses reeling and take the reader’s breath away over and over again.
Celia Anderson

Poignant, moving story of a fractured family restoring bonds in their trysting place. Elizabeth Reeder has placed her tale perfectly in the physical and emotional landscape of Scotland today. No one can accuse her of tartanising. This is real life in the Highlands of Scotland.
Malcolm Alexander

An Archive of Happiness is a beautifully weaved together novel that carries within its daring structure the real sense of a family who are struggling and striving to live their truest selves.
Helen McClory

An Archive of Happiness is an exquisite novel that resonates with tender, forgiving truth.
Helen Sedgwick

Reeder's stately prose contrasts with the perfectly observed, everyday minutiae of a tense family reunion in - a modern-day To The Lighthouse when it comes to the sensation of time constantly slipping through the fingers even while drawing out into an eternity of moments.
Harriet Walker

About the author

Elizabeth Reeder is originally from Chicago and lives in Scotland. Her stories and experimental essays are widely published and broadcast. Her first novel, Ramshackle, was shortlisted for a number of awards including a Saltire Literary Award. She’s a MacDowell Fellow and a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Glasgow.

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