Patrick Delaney is an introvert. He used to be a up-and-coming sculptor, but then a fire ruined his hands, scarred his face, and killed his girlfriend. That was seven years ago, but he thinks about it everyday. And even though he loves Marnie, he guards his heart from loving her too much because he can't risk the pain of losing her. And he thinks he's too empty inside to ever be anyone's father.
Then along comes Fritzie. She's eight. She loves doing cartwheels and asking too many questions. And she's Patrick's daughter. A daughter he never knew he had. And she's about to change Marnie's and Patrick's life forever.
My thoughts: I enjoyed everything about this book. It alternates between Marnie's and Patrick's POV, which worked well because the two of them are so different and I liked being able to see the same situation from both of their perspectives. I thought Patrick's struggle to get over his grief and guilt, figure out how to be a dad to an extroverted eight-year-old, and embrace the chaotic joy of having Marnie in his life was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. His and Marnie's relationship is messy, diverting, funny, flawed, hopeful and full of heart. I was rooting for them to make things work because I liked them so much. For me, A Happy Catastrophe turned out to be a sweet and charming romance.