A small fox – a light, bright vixen – crosses Waterloo Bridge one day in February 2014. Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist visiting London to give a conference keynote on PTSD, is crossing when he’s bumped by a jogger – tall silver-haired Jean, a wildlife biologist engaged in a study of urban foxes. Forna begins with these small moments and moulds them into a richly textured and engaging novel. She ranges widely, from the 1834 New England woods where a wolfer tracks the animal killing a farmer’s cattle to a risky checkpoint in 2000 Sierra Leone where Attila recognizes the commander in charge as a former patient. Happiness is both a love story and an exploration of the potential for trauma to cause not just damage, but resilience.