Migrating toward Happiness
The Soundtrack to My Spiritual Awakening
"An unconventional and perceptive memoir that aims to inspire readers to 'discover the happiness that is waiting to be revealed at his or her core.' ”
"...thoughtful, insightful prose..."
"...surprising insights on the nature of the American Dream and the immigrant experience." - Kirkus Reviews (Click full review here)
“Migrating toward Happiness reads like a song, an intimate melody, made vibrant by the rhythm of motion and the shifting accents of the immigrant voice. This story is at once familiar and extraordinary – it could be anyone’s family, any American journey – but the storytelling is so poignant, so lively and enchanting, that the tale is utterly seductive. Tara O’Grady sings from the page in this charming debut, and her readers will be keen for an encore.”
–Jeanine Cummins, American Dirt
“You see more than the USA in Tara O'Grady's Chevrolet. All memoirs are journeys but this one is exhilarating, effervescent, and sometimes sad. All men should read it to help them understand the magic of the workings of a woman's mind and all women should read it for affirmation. It's got prose, poetry, music, musing and humor spiced with history all soaring in a wild profusion of color and romance settling on a positive peak. Get elevated. Read it. I loved it!”
–Malachy McCourt, A Monk Swimming
About the Book
If you have ever wondered, “What is the purpose of my life,” then this book is for you. Want to find out what’s on the other side of the rainbow? Put your red shoes on and join Tara O’Grady and her spirit guides as they escort you on a magical and melodious tour down the yellow brick road. Utterly single, recently laid-off and lamenting a city that is consuming her spirit, this native New Yorker begins to not only notice, but understand the road signs the Universe is laying out before her as she awakens to its mysteries. Guided to take a symbolic journey replicating her Irish immigrant grandmother’s 1957 American road trip in a Chevy Bel Air, Tara begins her path to a spiritual awakening, soundtrack included. It is a road trip like no other. Let Tara show you how to reconnect to a life beyond the cubicle and follow your intuition to fulfill your heart's desire. Prepare to get happy!
"It's a wonderful story of magical events occurring at just the right time, synchronistic events spanning the globe and a trip across America (but in many ways, a trip into family, identity and self). An enjoyable, funny and thoughtful book - I'm already looking forward to her next book."
- Robert Waggoner, Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self
“Natural flair for language, by turns descriptive and spare when required. Every line and sentiment is fresh and has a purpose. There is passion in her writing and an essential honesty and openness that leaves authenticity unquestioned. She aligns her innermost thoughts with historical detail, pop cultural references and a wide breadth of experience. Selflessness and sensitivity to others is an obvious quality. Purpose is never lost and the clarity of thought is mirrored by concise yet imaginative imagery and writing- the pen can then roam free when appropriate. The key strength for me though is the astonishing recall of dialogue and the way that the spoken words inevitably bring characters and settings to life. You could virtually hear the music in Joseph’s voice and the sincerity of his warmth and earnest ambition. He was my favorite incidental character to this point (the young South Dakota hotel manager). Thematically, the version of the American Dream found in her memoir merges with a personal, family quest and near sense of pilgrimage, alongside a truly inspiring voyage of discovery.”
Photo: Richard J. Velasco
The Irish Times published an article written by Tara O'Grady about her grand uncle Fr. Peter and his dangerous spiritual pursuits in Spain prior to the Spanish Civil War. Fr. Peter is featured in her memoir.
Imagine 'Eat, Pray, Love' meets 'Thelma and Louise' on the yellow brick road, soundtrack included.
New York is cluttered with concrete and steel. There are a number of parks, but no matter how deep you escape into a park, a horn or menacing siren will always find you. The billboards, the cell phones, the traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, are all distractions. The landscape of New York City is one that I have grown accustomed to. I was born here. I can function in this space. I know its rhythms. I move with it as one moves with a herd of buffalo so as not to get trampled. But these pathways and highways and subways and motorways are all taking me away from a natural landscape, one that allows me to imagine, reflect, dream, and feed my spirit.
I tend to feel connected to my spirit only when I am in Ireland where my mother and grandparents were born. There is something mystical about that land. The ghosts of my ancestors walk through those peaceful valleys speckled with purple heather, cluttered only with cattle or sheep causing the occasional road block for the unfortunate tourist. The rhythm of the ocean lapping the Donegal shoreline has the ability to change one’s breathing pattern. My breathing in New York City is shallow. I’d rather not deeply inhale exhaust from taxis and delivery trucks.
About the Author
Tara O'Grady was an English teacher who became a jazz singer, recording artist and songwriter. She has released five albums of jazz, blues and folk music and performs with her band all over the world. This is her first book. She is the daughter of Irish immigrants and lives in New York City.
She has a "thing" for butterflies.
Photo: Richard J. Velasco
Photos from the Journeys 1957-2011
Photo: Richard J. Velasco