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Our April Book of the Month is AS HAPPY AS LING by Carlos Aleman.

The characters, some real, others mere illusions, have all made the same blunder.
They have chosen to judge their lives. And in judging and labeling, they have eaten from
the tree of good and bad, unaware that tragedy is often the greatest
teacher of compassion and love. ----Unknown balsero

A benediction: May you be as happy as Ling, rolling in the cool morning sand,
shouting to the one you love, ‘te amo!’ ----Carlos Aleman, author

AS HAPPY AS LING is surreal, passionate, disturbing and irresistible. It’s like Dante’s INFERNO and Garcia Marquez’ 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE. I whole heartedly recommend it.

AS HAPPY AS LING is about war, compassion, abuse, truth, faith, depression and most of all, about love -- Love of family, of lovers, of friends, of God… love of self. It’s the story of Adrianna and Octavio, whose marriage is torn asunder by war. He is deployed yet again and she enters into an abusive second marriage. When Adrianna is hospitalized after a severe beating, her teenage children are sent to spend the summer with their artistic uncle Diego in Miami. It’s a summer of discovery and redemption for all.

For my Q&A with the author last month, click here.


1) Explain the title, AS HAPPY AS LING? Was she happier than everyone else? How many Lings were there?

2) There are a lot of biblical references in this book. Do you think the author believes in organized or unorganized religion? Does he even believe in God?

3) It’s said that, “it’s better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.” Do the characters believe this is true? Do you?

4) Who is our storyteller? Which “character” best resembles him?

5) Are there any happy endings in this book?

COMMENT:   Let us know how you like this book and this author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carlos Aleman is a Cuban-American, born in New York City. He is a painter and a writer, and lives in Florida. AS HAPPY AS LING is his first novel. Visit his website at