Book Review: Hector and the Search for Happiness
Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord is a book written like those educational children’s books that discuss topics like the reproductive system but are disguised as a picture storybook. This one is a self-help book of some sort disguised as a novel.
The author, Francois Lelord, is successful in his profession as a psychiatrist in France and the United States. He has written self-help books prior to writing his series of novels about the character Hector. The idea about writing a novel about the Hector character first came to Lelord while he was on a trip to Hong Kong. The trip was meant to be a time for him to do some thinking about his personal and professional life.
It is not hard to look at the main character, Hector, as Lelord’s way of disguising his self on fiction. In the novel, Hector is a psychiatrist who begins to feel frustrated with his work. All the problems of Hector’s patients are beginning to make him wonder about a perennial question humanity has been asking: what is happiness, and where can it be found?
Hector decides to go on a trip in search for the ever-elusive happiness. On his journey, he meets new friends and old friends alike; and while being dragged into situations with them, Hector is keeping a list of the observations he acquires about the nature of happiness. After falling in love with a Chinese prostitute, being kidnapped by a dangerous group of people, and going on some strange adventures, Hector returns to his home country with a refreshed perspective on his profession and a couple of new realizations about happiness.
Lelord’s purpose for writing the book is obvious while reading the novel. He wants to remind people of the things they keep on forgetting about life and how to be happy while living it. The lessons that Hector discovers throughout his search for happiness are things that most people already know deep inside on some level. But they are also lessons that always get forgotten. With this book, it is nice to have them written down and put together in a charming little story such as this.
Vochelle Sia, a writer. She likes to read, draw, paint on her free time.
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