I am in the process of rereading Elizabeth Crane’s All this Heavenly Glory, which I love.
The title’s perfectly apt: YOU MUST BE THIS HAPPY TO ENTER, with a ferociously happy Precious Moments creature staring at you from the cover, arms spread wide like a kid who can grasp the concepts of measurement to some basic degree. While these are stories for happy people, they’re not saccharine. While these aren’t saccharine, they’re far from depressing. In one story a woman becomes a zombie and makes the best of it by going on one of those midday Lifetime reality shows where a houseful of women trump their problems by earning gold stars and making paper crafts. All the while, you notice that there is no cynicism. None. Not even when a small town loses its color (more literally than figuratively, mind you).